(c) Development Organization

For the execution of development schemes, the Sangrur District has been divided into 10 development blocks, namely, Bhawanigarh, Sangrur, Barnala, Sehna, Malerkotla, Mehal Kalan Ahmedgarh, Dhuri, Sunam and Lehragaga. For each block, there is a Block Development and Panchayat Officer, who is under the control of Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) of the subdivision, and the District Development and Panchayat Officer of the district, besides being under the overall control of the Deputy Commissioner.

The Block Development and Panchayat Officer is responsible for the successful implementation of development schemes in his block. He also guides and supervises the work of other departments in his block. He is assisted by a Social Education and Panchayat Officer, a Mukhya Sevika, an Overseer (popularly known as Sectional Officer), a number of Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas, besides other ministerial Class III and class IV staff. Besides, he has also a number of Inspectors or Extension Officers belonging to the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Co-operation, and Industries Departments, who assist and advise him in their respective spheres. This was done after the introduction of Panchayati Raj in the State to enable him to co-ordinate the activities of various departments engaged in developmental work.

(d) General arrangement for Disposal of Business

In addition to the Sub-Divisional Officers (Civil), Tahsildars, and Block Development and Panchayat Officers, the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, is assisted by a General Assistant, a District Officer for Removal of Grievances, a District Transport Officer, a District Development and Panchayat Officer, Oath Commissioners, and a District Attorney. Functions of each of these offices are discussed below in brief:

General Assistant. – He is an executive officer under the Deputy commissioner and assists the latter in all his executive and administrative functions. As such, he is the principal administrative officer and attends to routine correspondence, attestation, complaints, etc. He does little touring as he has to keep a vigilant eye on the district office. Almost all important branches of the deputy commissioners’ Office are under his supervision. He is competent to correspond with the Government and other departments in routine matters. He is a member of the Punjab Civil Services and an Executive magistrate. However, since the separation of judiciary from the executive in 1951, he tries only security cases. 

District officer, Removal of Grievances. – He is an Executive magistrate or an officer of equivalent status and belongs to State Civil Services. He redresses grievances of the public in the district and expedites action on the complaints received by him relating to all departments. He also acts as Co-ordinating Officer for the disposal of complaints from the public.

District Transport Officer. – He is Senior magistrate or an officer of equivalent status and belongs to the State Civil Services. His duties and functions are to realise the road tax in respect of al types of vehicles; to regulate the vehicles of al categories covered under the motor Vehicle Act, 1939; to issue and renew the driving licences and conductor licences; to issue authorization to drive public service vehicles; to issue special passes for stage carriages/taxis cars for marriage and tour parties; to inspect transport vehicles and grant certificate of fitness in respect of such vehicles for which technical assistance is provided by Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI); to enforce traffic rules etc; to conduct special traffic checking in Sangrur and Bathinda districts which MMPSI Bathinda Group in the third week of every month. District Transport Officers is the Chairman of Condemnisation Board, which condemns the vehicles of al Government departments. He issue full and half paid concession passes to blind and physically handicapped persons, on behalf of Deputy Commissioner.

District Development and Panchayat Officer. – He co-ordinates activities of all departments in district which are engaged in developmental activities. The Development Branch of Deputy Commissioners’ Office, which deals with development programmes and agricultural production, functions under his supervision. All the Block Development and panchayat Officers in the district are under his control and he is required to see that the Rural Development Programme is implemented in right earnest.

Registration. – Under section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), Registration is compulsory for:

a)                  Instruments of gift of immovable property;

b)                 Other non-testamentary which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundered rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property

c)                 Non-testamentary instruments which acknowledge the receipt of payment of any consideration on account of the creation declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest;

d)                 Leases of immovable property from year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent;

e)                  Non-testamentary instruments transferring or assigning any decree or order of a court or any award when such decree or order or award purports or operates to creates to create, declare assign, limit, or extinguish. Whether in present or in future any, right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property.

The Deputy Commissioner is the Registrar for the district under the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and in that capacity, he is responsible for registration work in the district. In the Sangrur District, the Registrar is assisted by 4 Tahsildar as Sub-Registrars, one each in four tahsils, viz. Sangrur, Malerkotla, Barnala and Sunam. The Naib-Tahsildar in a tahsil is the ex-officio Joint Sub-Registrar and he undertakes the registration work only when the regular Sub-Registrar is on leave or away from the headquarters. The Sub-Registrar and the Joint Sub-Registrar do registration work in addition to their own duties for which they get monthly honorarium.

The Sub-Registrar registers the documents pertaining to the properties situated in his jurisdiction. The Registrar is, however, empowered to register any document from any tahsil of his district. He hears appeals and applications referred to him under sections 72 and 73 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908, against refusal to register documents by the Sub-Registrars under him.

A Head Registration Clerk assists the Registrar at the district head-quarters and clerks/readers assist the Sub-Registrars/Jointly Sub-Registrars in the tahsil in performing the registration work.

Oath Commissioner. – An Oath Commissioner is a practising lawyer who is authorized on application, by the High Court to make attestations of affidavits. There are 53 Oath Commissioners in the district: 10 at Sangrur, 3 at Dhuri, 13 at Malerkotla, 9 at Sunam and 18 at Barnala. They charge Rs 2 as attestation fee for an affidavit.

District Attorney. – Formerly designated as Public Prosecutor/ Government Pleader, a District Attorney is appointed by the Home Secretary to Government, Punjab, on the recommendations of the Legal Remembrancer and Director prosecution, Punjab. He represents the State in the cases pending in the court of the district and Sessions Judge. He is under the administrative control of the Director Prosecution, Litigation and Joint Secretary to Government Punjab. He is assisted by Assistant District Attorneys, besides ministerial staff.

(e) District Committees

In the Sangrur District, the following District Committees have been constituted for the speedy disposal of business. Their meetings are held under the chairmanship of Minster/Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner, at the district headquarters:   

1.        Site Selection Committee

Chairman Deputy Commissioner

2.        House Allotment Committee

Do

           District Industrial Advisory Committee

Do

           District peace Committee

Do

5.        District Food Advisory Committee

Chairman Deputy Commissioner 

6.        Family Planning Committee

Do

7.        House Building Loan Committee

Do

8.        District Rural Development Agency

Do

9.        Agricultural Production Committee

Do

10.      Public Works Committee

Do

11.      District Planning Board

Do

12.      Telephone Co-ordination Committee (P & T Department)

Do

13.      Law Officers-cum-Public Prosecutor Committee

Do

14.      District Investigation and Prosecution Committee for Criminal Cases

Do

15.      District Level Co-ordination Committee on Bio-gas

Do

16.      District Level Reclamation Committee for kallar Land

Do

17.      25 Bedded Hospital Committee

Do

18.      District Level Co-ordination Committee for Land

Do

19.      District Level Prisoners Premature Release Committee

Do

20.      District Law and Order Committee

Do

21.      District Level Committee for Industrial Relations

Do

22.      District Committee on Distribution of Essential Commodities and Procurement of foodgrains

Do

23.      District Olympic Association

Do

24.      Child Welfare Council

Do

25.      District Crime Prevention Society

Do

26.      District level committee to review the case of undertrials

Convener (D.C)

27.      District Library Committee

Patron (D. C.)

28.      Public Grievances Committees, Sangrur

Minister

 

 

(f) State and Central, Government Officers

 

The following State and Central Government Officers are posted in the Sangrur District:

State Government Officers

1.              Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur

2.              Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur

3.              General Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur

4.              District Officer, Removal of Grievances, Sangrur

5.              District Development and Panchayat Officer, Sangrur

6.              District Transport Officer, Sangrur

7.              Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Sangrur

8.              Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Malerkotla

9.              Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Barnala

10.          Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Sunam

11.          Tahsildar, Sangrur

12.          Tahsildar, Malerkotla

13.          Tahsildar, Barnala

14.          Tahsildar, Sunam

15.          Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur

16.          District and Sessions Judge, Sangrur

17.          Additional District and Sessions Judge, Sangrur

18.          Additional District and Sessions Judge, Barnala

19.          Senior Sub-Judge, Sangrur

20.          Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sangrur

21.          Executive Magistrate, Sangrur

22.          District Food and Supplies Controller, Sangrur

23.          District Public Relations Officers, Sangrur

24.          District Education Officer (Schools), Sangrur

25.          District Education officer (Primary), Sangrur

26.          Civil Defence Officer, Sangrur

27.          District Manager, PUNSUP, Sangrur

28.          District Administrative Education Officer, Sangrur

29.          District Animal Husbandry Officer, Sangrur

30.          District Welfare Officer, Sangrur

31.          District Employment Officer, Sangrur

32.          District Attorney, Sangrur

33.          District Sports Officer, Sangrur

34.          District Language Officer, Sangrur

35.          District Statistical Officer, Sangrur

36.          Secretary, Zila Parishad, Sangrur

37.          Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Sangrur

38.          Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Sangrur

39.          Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Sangrur

40.          Audit Officer, Co-operative Societies, Sangrur

41.          Superintendent, District Sudhar Ghar (Jail), Sangrur

42.          Civil Surgeon, Sangrur

43.          Divisional Forest Officer, Sangrur

44.          Secretary Zila Sainik Board, Sangrur

45.          Assistant Director, Fisheries (Research), Sangrur

46.          Deputy Superintendent of Police, (C.I.D.), Sangrur

47.          Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Sangrur

48.          Excise and Taxation Officer, Sangrur (Ten)

49.          Treasury Officer, Sangrur

50.          Managing Director, Malwa Milk Producer Co-operative Ltd., Sangrur

51.          Audit Officer, Malwa Milk Producer Co-operative Ltd., Sangrur.

52.          Assistant Soil Conservation Officer, Sangrur

53.          General Manager, District Industries Centre, Malerkotla.

54.          Depot Manager, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, Sangrur

55.          Executive Engineer, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Division, Sangrur

56.          Superintending Engineer, Punjab State Tubewell Corporation, Sangrur Construction Circle, Sangrur

57.          Sub Divisional Engineer, Provincial Subdivision, PWD, B&R, Barnala

58.          Executive Engineer, Construction Division, PWD, B&R, Barnala

59.          Executive Engineer, construction Division, PWD, B&R, Malerkotla

60.          Executive Engineer, Drainage Division, Sangrur

61.          Executive Engineer, Tubwell Division Malerkotla

62.          Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Malerkotla

63.          Divisional Engineer, Lining Division no. I, Punjab State Tubewell Corporation, Sangrur

64.          Superintending Engineer, Public Health Division, Sangrur

65.          Executive Engineer, Irrigation Branch, Sangrur

66.          Deputy Collector, Irrigation Branch, Sangrur

67.          Executive Engineer, Provincial Division, Sangrur

68.          Superintending Engineer, Construction Circle, Public Health, B&R, Sangrur

69.          Chairman, Sangrur Improvement Trust, Sangrur

70.          Chairman Malerkotla Improvement Trust, Malerkotla

71.          Chairman, Barnala Improvement Trust, Barnala

72.          Commander, N.C.C., Sangrur 

73.          District Commander, Punjab Home Guards, Sangrur

74.          District Probation Officer, Sangrur

75.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Sangrur

76.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Sangrur

77.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Sunam

78.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Barnala

79.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Malerkotla

80.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Bhawanigarh

81.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Lehragaga

82.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Ahmedgarh

83.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Sehna

84.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Mahal Kalan

85.          Block Development & Panchayat Officer, Dhuri

 

Central Government Officer     

1.                Income Tax Officer, Ward A, Sangrur

2.                Income Tax Officer, Ward B, Sangrur

3.                Superintendent of Post Officers, Barnala

4.                District Savings Officer, Sangrur

5.                District Manager, Food Corporation of India, Sangrur

6.                Branch Manager, Life Insurance Corporation, Sangrur

7.                Youth Co-ordinator, Centre Service, Government of India, Sangrur

 

CHAPTER XI

REVENUE ADMINISTRATION

SN

Contents

a.       

Land Revenue Administration

b.

Land Reforms

c.

Other Source of Revenue, State and Central

 

(a) Land Revenue Administration

(i) History of Land Revenue Assessment management

The History of land revenue of the Sangrur District is exceedingly complicated. Formerly scattered in the erstwhile princely states of Jind, Patiala, Nabha, and Malerkotla, and a part of the British territory, it has a land revenue history differing in one part from that in other parts. Each of these princely states had a different system of land revenue --- also different from that in the British territory. However, the land revenue was imposed and collected as per the orders of the Mughal emperors who reigned India from time to time.

The history of Jind State begins from 1763 when Raja Gajpat Singh seized a large tract of country including Jind and Safidon districts (now in Haryana) on the dissolution of Mughal empire and obtained the title of Raja under an imperial farman in 1772. By this farman he assumed the style of an independent prince. Afterwards, he obtained the pargana of Sangrur alongwith Balanwali (now in Haryana). Before the settlements made by Raja Sarup Singh the assessment of land revenue was a fluctuation one. In some villages, a system of batai for one crop and of kankut for the other was in vogue, while in others cash rates were fixed on crops at the beginning of the kharif in consultation with the zamindars.

First (Summary) Settlement of Sangrur Tahsil, 1861-1865. – The first summary settlement of tahsil Sangrur was effect by Sardar Daya Singh, Nazim of the Jind State, during 1861-65. There were 83 villages in the Sangrur Tahsil with an area of 1,56,095 acres (cultivated 1,12,333 acres, uncultivated 43,762 acres) and a revenue (jama) of Rs 1,63,897.

Second (Regular) Settlement of Tahsil Sangrur. – The Summary settlement was followed by a regular settlement made by Sardar Kahan Singh during 1866-1875. At this settlement, area of the tahsil increased from 1,56,096 acres to 1,61,337 acre. The number of villages increased from 83 villages to 92 villages and revenue (jama) amount was raised from Rs 1,63,897 to Rs 1,82,539 under the same terms and conditions of revenue realization system as per first summary settlement.

Since from this settlement of Sangrur Tahsil, the tappa system was discontinued. Muamla (cash rent) was realized for the kharif, and batai of one-third for barani soils and one-fourth for chahi ones was taken for the rabi.

Third Settlement of Tahsil Sangrur. – The third settlement of tahsil Sangrur was effected by Lala Kanhiya Lal during 1877-1886. In this settlement also, there as enlargement in area and increase in revenue (jama). Due to enlargement, the total area of the tahsil was 1,61,767 acres (cultivated 1,22,728 acres, uncultivated 39,039 acres) and the revenue was raised to Rs 2,09,115. In this settlement, there was also a change in the realization of revenue system. The batai and kankut were converted into cash rents for both crops in the ilaqas of Sangrur and Kularan, and into cash rents for kharif and batai for rabi in Balanwali.

Fourth Settlement of Tahsil Sangrur 1899-1919. – This was done by Lala Ram Kishan Das during 1899-1919. In this settlement, cash rents were fixed in the whole Sangrur Tahsil for the welfare of zamindars. In this last settlement the total area of tahsil measured was 1,61,154 acres (cultivated 1,30,568 acres, uncultivated 30,586 acres). It was 613 acres less than in the previous settlement and the revenue assessed was Rs 1,86,828 which was also less by Rs 22,287 and villages rose from 95 to 97. This reduction in revenue was owing to cash assessment instead of batai. The shrinkage of 613 acres of land was due to the expansion of the villages in the tahsil.

Settlement in former Nabha State areas

 

In the area falling in the then Nabha princely State, the ancient system of levying the revenue in kind remained in force up to 1860. However, since 1860 the system of cash assessment was introduced in the princely State except Lohat Badi (Malerkotla tahsil) in which it was introducted in 1932 Sambat (1875). After the summery assessment, a regular settlement was initiated in 1948 Sambat and completed in 1959 (A. D. 1902). This assessment was conducted on the lines of the British Revenue Law of 1884, the land was measured land the record of rights prepared as in a British district. 

Land Revenue System in the former Patiala State areas

Some tahsils of princely State Patiala such as Sunam, Bhawanigarh, Barnala, Dhuri were annexed fully or partly to the Sangrur District after 1947. The revenue of this State from Akbar to the times of Ala Singh and his successors was being collected in kind known as Kham tahsil (collection of kind) upto 1862. This arrangement was occasionally replaced by cash assessments made for the period of one or two years, but these rare and irregular assessments or contracts were not based on any fixed rule or established principles, for whenever there was a good crop and the Diwan expected to realize more by collection in kind than by adhering to a fixed cash assessment, he at once cancelled the agreement without the slightest scruple and did not wait for its term to expire. As a consequence of this short-sighted policy, the zamindar (tiller) never put his heart in his work and no waste lands were ever brought under cultivation.

The share of the produce taken by the State differed in different parganas; it was mostly one-third, but one-fourth or two-fifths was also taken, and there was a large number of extra dues called abwab. A cash rate per bigha, called Zabti, was charged on crops that could not be easily divided. The State’s share of grain was realized either by actually dividing the produce (batai or bhavali) or by appraisement, kankut, kan, or kachh, Batai was with rare exceptions, usually resorted to in the rabi, and appraisement was a rule in the kharif. The officials who made the batai were called Batwas and those who made the appraisements were known as Kachhus.

At each harvest, the Tahsildar divided the parganas in to a number of suitable circles and the land was measured by horse pacing, and two kachhus or measurers and two batawas were appointed for each circle; two Muharrirs called likharis were also sent with them. One out of each pair of Kachhus, Batawas and Likharis was the Tahsildar’s nominee and the other called “sarkari” was appointed by the Diwan. 

When the crop was ready for sickle one or two Muhassals or watchmen were appointed in village to watch the crop and the grain before division. The zamindar himself was not allowed to touch his crop or take a single handful of grain for his cattle. The Muhassal used to get 11/2  annas a day, of which an anna was paid by the village and half-an-anna by the State. This establishment was temporary. But Kachhu was all in al in making Khasra entries Pakka in the name of zamindar which was known as nawan pakana. It could not be changed later on and to change it was considered a serious crime. In could not be changed later on and to change it was considered a serious crime. In a similar way, the bat aw as got the produce weighed by the village bania called the dharwahi, deducted 15 per cent as kamin’s dues, divided the rest at the pargana rate of batai, and recorded in the same way (nawan pakana) the amount due from each man against his name in the khasra.

Owing to the negligence or dishonesty on the part of the Batawas the delay in effecting the batai often caused great damage to the grain when its price, full or half, as the case may be, was realized from the zamindars. This was the system of kham collection that prevailed upto 1862.

In 1861-62, the first contract settlement on a cash basis was effected in all districts of the Patiala State. As estimate was made of the average value of the actual realization in cash or in kind, during the previous twenty-one year, and the assessment arrived at was announced for one year.

A regular settlement of the whole Patiala State was commenced in 1901. The revenue assessment for the whole State was Rs 41,48,155. This assessment includes the assessed amount of Sunam, Bhawanigarh and Barnala tahsils and of Dhuri (then a tahsil) of the erstwhile princely Patiala State which were later on annexed to Sangrur District.

 

Land Revenue System in Malerkotla Princely State

The erstwhile princely State Malerkotla, which became part of the Sangrur District, consisted of 119 villages, out of these 119 villages, 100 were held on pattidari tenure, 3 on pure zamindari, and 16 on bhaiachara tenure.

In the villages, dakhilkars (occupancy tenants) cultivated 91 per cent of land themselves; the remaining 9 per cent was held by tenants-at-will who used to pay rents in kind and cash at various rates. In Malerkotla, occupancy tenants paying in kind held 46 per cent and paying in cash 29 per cent. Tenants-at-will cultivated 11 per cent on batai; and 1 per cent on cash rents. The remaining 13 per cent was held by Jagirdars and Mufidars themselves.

Before the State was granted to the Afghans the revenue was taken in cash by appraisement, but Shaikh Sadr-ud-in the original Jagirdar, began to levy one-third of all corn and one-forth of all straw including chari. This system was extended to the villages subsequently added to the State and remained in force up to 1864.

The first cash assessment was made in 1864-65 by Lala Kanhya Lal. The demands fixed were based on the average collections of grain administration fodder for 5 or 6 years converted into cash at the then prevailing prices. The leases were given for five years i.e. up to 1870 and the demand being moderate was easily realized. The general rate in this assessment was 7 annas per kachcha bigha.

The second assessment was made by Nawab Sikandar Ali Khan himself in 1870. A survey and Record of Rights were also begun for the Nawab’s village but he died before their completion. The leases were calculated in a very crude way.

The villagers were asked to state the area of cultivated land they possessed as also the details of its soils and cultivation. Rates were then fixed on the yield and thus demand of each village was arrived at. These leases ran on till 1879, and as the revenue was generally moderate it was easily realized. The unfinished Settlement Records were completed under Mr. Heath, Superintendent, during the minority of Nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan.

The third assessment was made in 1879-80, through the Tahsildars. The amount of each lease was determined according to the offers made by contractors or bids by money lenders. As a rule, this assessment was naturally a full one and too heavy in some village; the general rate on cultivation was 12 annas 7 pies per kachcha bigha. The system of levying revenue was not uniform; in some villages it continued to take batai, in others land was given on annual leases or for a term of years, either to the cultivators or to contractors.

First Regular Settlement 1887-1891. – The operations of the first regular settlement commenced in Malerkotla in September 1887 and extended in the whole state except in Inayat Ali Khan’s villages, in June 1888. The whole State was divided into 37 patwar circle for inspection of crops, realization of revenue, preparation of the Record of Rights and determining the status of cultivators. Patwaris and munsarims were appointed for this purpose. In September 1888 the number of circles was increased from 37 to 50 when Khan Sahib Inayat Ali Khan made over all his papers and patwar staff to the Settlement Department. Later on, the munsarims were found incompetent and most worthless of them were replaced by patwaris.

In the settlement, the Settlement Officer assessed the total land revenue demand of the State, including the jagirs, at Rs, 3,69,000 in 1891, though he considered that Jagirdars’ income had probably been overstated, and that in the absence of reliable data for the batai-paying village no estimate, even approximately correct, of the actual demand could be made. That mismanagement had diminished the State’ resources appeared from the fact in 100 villages the well-irrigated area had decreased from 68,431 to 54,621 bighas in 1891. Applying the rates of yield and prices sanctioning to the results of 3 years crop inspections a total demand of Rs 3,24,165 was arrived at.

Second Regular Settlement 1910-1913. – The assessment of regular settlement was announced in kharif 1891 for a term of 20 years. The period of settlement therefore expired in October 1911. In January 1910 it was decided to take the work of re-assessment. By Ijlas-i-khas order dated 25 July 1910, the whole of Malerkotla state was placed under re-assessment. The unit of measurement was karam, kuchcha pakka bigha and acre. The duration of the settlement was 20 years but the princely State of Malerkotla was abolished and made part of Patiala and East Punjab States Union, and, later on, of Punjab. Under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, the settlement was statutorily limited to 40 years and by this standard also a settlement was due in some parts of the district.

The measurement in the settlement was made on the square system with a karam of 57.157 inches. Generally, under this settlement, the batai system was abolished and gave fixity of tenure to the people. It was mentioned that the assessment of an estate should not exceed half the net assets or renting value. Only few villages collection in kind was maintained in the case of jagirdars whose income was less than Rs 200 per mensem. The revenue was only once in kharif 1899 that one-fifth of the whole revenue of the State was suspended. Right from the previous settlement (1891) no remissions had ever been given during the last twenty-two years.

The total revenue of the State under this settlement was increased. Under this settlement the revenue was assessed Rs 4,41,763 as against Rs 3,59,808 in the last settlement. There area of the State on remeasurement was 1,06,286 acres (510,172 bighas). The cultivated area of the State in this settlement, compared to that in the previous settlement, decreased by 26 per cent, from 4,47,338 bighas to 4,35,807 bighas, due largely to construction of Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal railway line which passed through the Malerkotla territory.

 

(ii) Collection Land Revenue

Prior to 1861, the collection of land revenue was made by lambardars (village headmen) under the tappa system in the area relating to the erstwhile Jind State. Since the regular settlement (1861) pachotra or 5 per cent of the land revenue collection was paid to the lambardar, in the area relating to the erstwhile Patiala State, land revenue was collected by the lambardars in the supervision of kachhus, batawas and muharris under the kham system. Being a defective system, it was abolished by Mahraja Narinder Singh. Since the regular settlement commenced in 1901, lambardari cess of 5 per cent was levied and a small sum called panchai or pachotra began to be paid to lambardars out of the State revenues. In the area of erstwhile Malerkotla and Nabha States, now part of the Sangrur District, land revenue was collected by the lambardars. Prior to the second regular settlement of Malerkotla State (1910-1913) the distinguished lambardars got Rs 12 per annum as safedposhi imams and were designated as safedposh. Their designation was changed to zaildar later on. In Jind State, zaildari system was not in vogue, while it prevailed in the patiala and Nabha States.

After independence in 1947, the posts of zaildars were abolished, After 1948, certain factors such as the introduction of panchayati raj and political awakening made the ruralities more conscious of their rights and less of their duties thereby increasing the number of those evading the payment of land revenue. This affected the position of the lambardar considerably. Therefore, in order to overcome these short-coming superior posts of zaildars and inamdars were created, but were reabolished in 1964 leaving the Lambardar alone to collect revenue.

The lambardar collects the revenue from right holders and in this he gets assistance from the chowkidar, another village worker and the patwari, and government official. Now, the lambardar also collects abiana and water advantage rate, for which he is paid 3 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, as collection charges.

 

(iii) Income from land Revenue and Special Casses

Land Revenue. – The last regular settlements relating to Sangrur District (erstwhile princely States) took place in 1899-1919 (Jind), 1901-1908 (patiala), 1910-1913 (Melerkotla) and 1892-1903 (Nabha), and land revenue fixed under these settlements, is being collected by adding other cesses etc. imposed by the State Government from time to time. It is realized in two instalments, i.e. for kharif crops in the month of January and for rabi crops in the month of June every year.

In 1961, the Punjab Land Revenue (Thur, Sem, Chos and Sand) Remission and Supervision Rules, 1961, were enforced under which land revenue of all lands, rendered unculturable on account of thur and sem, is remitted.

The following statement gives the details of income from land revenue, and remission in the Sangrur District, during 1973-74 to 1977-78: --

Year ending  Rabi

Recovery (Rs)

Remission (Rs)

1973-74

8,72,337

2,93,413

1974-75

8,61,005

2,90,616

1975-76

8,92,498

2,97,975

1976-77

8,77,874

2,91,220

1977-78

8,70,319

2,62,416

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur)

SPECIAL CESSES

Besides the land revenue, following cesses are levied on the land-owners in the district: --

Village Officers’ Cess

Previously, the Village Officers’ Cess was included in patwar cess in the area relating to Sangrur District of the erstwhile Patiala and Malerkotla states. But in Jind State, the land revenue as Patiala and Malerkotla, the patwar cess was not collected as a separate item with the land revenue. In the erstwhile Patiala State, since the regular settlement commenced in 1901, the cesses levied in the State included patwar cess i.e. 21/2 per cent. Similarly, the patwar cess was included in land revenue in the erstwhile Malerkotla State since the last assessment commence in 1887; the rate of patwar cess in the State was higher than that in the Patiala State. It was collected Rs 3-9-4 per cent excluding the lambardari cess which was charged as a separate item @ 5 per cent with the abolition of zaildari and sufedposhi agencies in 1948, only pachotra of the rate of 5 percent of land revenue, is being charged as the Village Officers’ Cess. 

Local Rate

Local rate has grown from small beginnings. It was usual in early settlements to levy an extra cess or local rate cess on land revenue to maintain schools, hospitals, roads, etc. In the beginning of the 19th century, in erstwhile Jind State, it was derived from the levy of an extra cess of 5 per cent on the land revenue in small villages, and 21/2 per cent in large ones. Menial tribes had to pay an atraf of Re 1 to Rs 2 on each hearth of house (khudi). Similarly, it was levied @ 4 per cent (1 per cent road cess, 1 per cent school cess, 1 per cent hospital cess and 1 per cent postal cess) in erstwhile Patiala State. In erstwhile Malerkotla States. It was derived at the rate of Rs 10 anas 6 and pies 8 per Rs 100 for the maintenance of schools, hospitals and roads on land revenue.

The local rate in princely states was raised from time to time. At the time of Independence, the local rate in these states was not at par and varied from chak to chak even in one State. In most of the chaks of Patiala State, it was levied at the rate of 11 per cent, such as in Bhawanigrh, Sunam, Barnala, Sherpur, etc. and at the rate of 13 per cent in chak Amargarh. Similarly, in Nabha State it was levied at 7 per cent in chak Dhanaula, 10 per cent in chak Nabha and 18 per cent in chak Lohat Badi. In Malerkotla State, it was levied at the rate of 16 per cent. In Jind. State, in most of the chaks such as Mahlan, Biggarwal, Akalgarh, Chatha Nakta and Bharur the local rate was 11 per cent while in chak Sangrur, it was 9 per cent. The local rate in the chaks such as Kharial and Ludhiana which were partly merged in the district from the Punjab State was higher than that of the local rate of 50 per cent since kharif 1948.

Later on, when PEPSU was merged in the Punjab State, the local rate in the whole district was brought at par and was levied at the rates of 50 per cent.

Abiana

The abiana or water rate is charged on the area irrigated by canals. The income from this source in the Sangrur District, during 1973-74 to 1977-78, is given below:

Year

Income from abiana (Rs)

1973-74

50,17,025

1974-75

75,30,587

1975-76

95,97,962

1976-77

99,04,990

1977-78

97,73,851

(Source: Deputy Commissioner Sangrur)

(b) Land Reforms

Prior to the introduction of land reforms, the tenants had no hereditary cultivating rights; they cultivated at the will of the owners, who could eject them whenever they chose, after a harvest, unless they were admitted to the maurusis. In some areas, the cultivators had hereditary cultivating rights, and were called muzarian-i-mauruisi. They were not deemed to hold any proprietary rights, but paid a fixed rent in cash or grain as malikana to the owner. The owner had the further advantage that he used to obtain possession of the land of his hereditary cultivator in the event of his death without male issue or next-of-kin within three generations. Most of the tenants were suffering from the non-conferment of ownership rights. They did not take serious interest in cultivation; they were fed up with exploitation by the landowners.

Since time immemorial, attempts have been made to solve the problem of small cultivators who were constantly harassed by the big landlords and Zamindars and were deprived of their due share and ownership right in agricultural land.

The major step taken in the direction of land reforms was the abolition of intermediaries like Zamindars, jagirs, imams, etc. Consequently, tenants of former intermediaries have come into direct relationship with the State and have become owners of their holdings. To better the lot of tenants, the PEPSU Government controlling the entire area of the present Sangrur District, and the Punjab Government passed a number of laws which are given as under:

1.          The East Punjab Utilization of Lands, Act, 1949

2.          The PEPSU Abolition of Ala Malikiyat Rights Act, 1954

3.          The PEPSU Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1954

4.          The PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955

5.          The Punjab Bhudan Yagna Act, 1955

6.          The Punjab Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1957

7.          The Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961

8.          The Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1972

Under the East Punjab Utilization of Lands Act, 1949, which has been applicable to the area in this district, from 1956, the Collector can take into possession and lease out any land which can be cultivated, but has not been cultivated for the last six harvests. Under the PEPSU Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1954, the occupancy tenants were made full-fledged landowners liable to Government for paying land revenue, while the landowners were compensated for this loss. This measure not only ended an anachronism by eliminating an outmoded class but also made the land secure for the landowner who was the actual tiller, and brought him in direct relationship with Government. Besides the class of cultivators mentioned above, a large area was cultivated by the tenants-at-will who were at the mercy of landlord and they had no security to tenancy. The amount of rent was not fixed and they had no remedy to seek in case of distress. To better their lot, was enacted the PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955, which not only gave security of tenancy to the tenants but also laid down the maximum amount of rent that could be charged from them and prescribed certain grounds on which alone could tenants be ejected and not otherwise. Besides, the maximum area that could be cultivated by a landlord himself was prescribed. Thus a large area was released for the tenants. However, it was, later on considered necessary that these provisions should be further modified and on the basis of national guidelines, the Punjab Land Reforms Act, 1972, was drafted and passed on 14 December 1972.

In order to carry out the objectives of the Act, the Punjab Land Reforms Rules, 1973, were framed under the Act. A scheme, viz. the Punjab Utilization of Surplus Areas.

In order to implement the land reforms programme in the State, an advisory committee at the State level and similar committees at the district levels were constituted. Surplus land is being distributed to landless agricultural workers, members of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, and tenants who own no land or have an area less than two hectares of the first quality land.

The distribution of land among various classes of cultivators/tenants in the district, upto 1977-78, is given below:

Security of Land Tenures: - The PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955 provides for the security of land tenure. According to the provisions of the Act, no tenant can be ejected fro his cultivated holdings except in the cases of default payment of rent; or the tenant does not cultivate land, in the manner and to the extent customary in the locality in which the land is situated; or the tenant is using such land or part there of in a manner which is likely to render the land the land unfit for the purpose for which it was leased to him; or the tenant on demand in writing by the land owner, has refused to execute a kabuliyat agreeing to pay a rent in respect of the his tenancy.

The main objectives of the Act are: to provide a ceiling on individual land holdings, to give certain security of tenure to tenants, to provide for resettlement of tenants lawfully evicted, and, to give a right to certain tenants to purchase land of their tenancy.

By 31 March 1978, 3,962 cases of surplus area had been decided and about 4,279 standard acres and 1,908 standard hectares of land was declared surplus in the district. By the same date, 1,451 eligible tenants were rehabilitated on about 2,078 standard acres and 509 standard hectares of surplus area.

Utilization of land: - The East Punjab utilization of lands Act, 1949, was made applicable to the Patiala and East Punjab States Union in 1956 when it was merged in the Punjab State. Prior to its enforcement there were some areas in the district which were not brought under cultivation. In pursuance of Government Policy to utilize every inch of available culturable land for growing more food and other essential crops, the above Act has been enforced, under which a notice is served on every landowner who allowed his land thus taken over is leased out to some other person for a term ranging from 7 to 20 years, priority being given to Harijans. Under this Policy, 1,258 standard acres and 5,14,66 standard hectares of land have been taken over under the PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1955 and the Punjab Land Reforms act, 1972, respectively, in Malerkotla Tahsil and 468 hectares of land has been taken over under these Acts in Barnala Tahsil. Of the above, no area has been leased out to any tenants in the district up to 31 March 1978.

Consolidation of Holdings. – Prior to the formation of PEPSU, the consolidation of holdings was started in the village of the district, relating mainly to the erstwhile princely State of Nabha, by the co-operative Department. At the time, it was taken up in old villages at the request of the people. The consent of each holder was necessary before any scheme of redistribution could be implemented in the village. The progress was consequently slow. The Government of Patiala and East Punjab States Union, therefore, passed the Patiala and East Punjab States Union Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 2007 (BK). The Act provides for the consolidation of agricultural holdings and for preventing the fragmentation of agricultural holdings in the State of Patiala and East Punjab States Union.

The Act provides, with the object of consolidation of holdings in any estate or group of estates or any part thereof for the purpose of better cultivation of lands therein, the Government may of its own motion or on application made in this behalf, declare by notification and by publication in the prescribed manner in the estate or estates concerned the Government may appoint a Consolidation Officer who shall after obtaining in the prescribed manner the advice of the landowners of the estate concerned, prepare a scheme for the consolidation of holdings in such estate or estates or part thereof as the case may be.

The Act further provides that the transfer or partition of any land contrary to the provisions of the Act shall be void. No land in any notified area shall be transferred or partitioned so as to create a fragment. No owner of fragment who intends to sell it can sell without the prior approval of the Collector concerned. The owner small in the first instance offer the fragment for sale to the owners of contiguous survey numbers or recognized subdivisions of survey number, and case of their refusal to purchase the owner may transfer it to the Government on payment. The Act provides compensation to any owner who is allotted a holding of less market value than that of his original holdings.

After the merger of PEPSU in the Punjab, the consolidation of holdings of the district is undertaken under the East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948.

By 31 March 1978, land measuring 5,07,328 hectares was consolidated in the district.

Bhoodan: - The Bhoodan movement was started by Acharya Vinoba Bhave with a view to setting the landless cultivators on land through voluntary donations. The Punjab Bhoodan Yagna Act, 1955, was passed to promote the movement. The area of land given in Bhoodan in the Sangrur District upto March 1974 was 31 acres 2 kanals.

Rural Wages and Conditions Agricultural Labour: - The daily wages paid to agricultural and skilled workers (men) in one selected village, viz. Fatehgarh (1973-74 to 1977-78) in Melerkotla Tahsil of the District are given in the following statement: 

Daily wages paid to Agricultural and Skilled Labourers (Males) in a Selected Village, Fatehgarh (Tahsil Malerkotla) in Sangrur District 1973-74 to 1978

 

Agricultural Labour

Skilled Labour

Year ending 30 June

For Ploughing

(Rs)

For Sowing

(Rs)

For Weeding

(Rs)

For Harvesting

(Rs)

For Picking of cotton

(Rs)

For other agricultural operations (Rs)

Blacksmith

(Rs)

Carpenter

(Rs)

1973-74

8.40

8.42

8.44

11.0

6.50

8,27

14.96

14.96

1974-75

9.25

9.25

9.30

6.27

10.21

15.25

15.29

1975-76

9.50

9.50

9.50

13.00

5.08

9.50

15.50

15.50

1976-77

9.36

9.33

9.39

9.50

4.50

9.42

16.08

16.08

1977-78

9.50

9.50

9.50

99.50

6.50

9.50

20.83

20.83

1978-79

10.25

10.87

9.93

14.25

7.67

10.18

22.18

22.18

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab 1974 to 1979)

 

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