(a) Historical Backround and Divisions of the District.


A district is the basic administrative unit in civil administration. The origin of the existing system of district administration in India lies with Lord Corniwallis (1786-93): Adopting certain features of Akbar's system of administration, he oppinted district officers to perform three main function: to maintain peace, to collect revenueand to administer justice Following Independence  and the adopting in 1950 of a constitution, the emphasis in government  has shifted from maintenance of law and order to greater public service in a welfare state manifold  both on account of improved communications and because of th  changing objectives of administration. The basic structure of district administration has not undergone fundamental change after 1947, but the role of district officers has changed considerably. Land revenue is no longer the mainstay of the Government's financial resources and the importance of the Revenue  Department is reduced, while at the same activity have come up and these aim at performance in their individual field. The inter-relationship of the various district officer is discussed later.

            Administrative division:-For purpose of general and revenue administration the district is divided in to three tehsils viz, Rupnagar (including sub-tahsil Chamkaur Sahib), Kharar and Anadpur sahib (Including sub tehsil Nurpur Bedi). Each revenue tahsil is now a subivision of the district for purpose of administration.

            The strengh of Sub  Divisional  Officer ( Civil), Tehsildars and Naib- Tahsildars in the district, as on 31 March 1983, is given below:

Sub Division

Sub Divisional Officer ( Civil)


Naib- Tahsildar









Anandpur Sahib




District Rupnagar






 (b)  District Authorities


Deputy Commissioner :- The over- all general administration of the district is controlled by the deputy Commissioner. The Deputy commissioner, Rupnagar himself report to the Commissioner Patiala. Division Patiala. The deputy Commissioner has a triple role in administration. For purposes of inter departmental co-ordination and control at district level he is Deputy commissioner; for administration of land laws and collection of land revenue, he is collector and for control over the police machinery and maintenance of law order in the district he is District Magistrate.

            As Deputy commissioner, he is the executive head of the district in the sphere of planning. development and the co-ordination of all government activities. Specific powers are vested in the Deputy commissioner is respect of the local laws such as for the administration of urban and rural local bodies. He is also charged with co-ordinating the development and welfare activities of all the departments of Government such as public works, agriculture, forest, food supplies, etc.  Thus, while the departmental officers at district level are controlled directly by their departmental superiors e.g. the District Food and Supplies Controller by the Secretary to Government, Food  and supplies
Department through the Director, Food and Supply. The Co-ordination of the activities of these departments at district level is the responsibility of the Deputy Commissioner.  The distribution of food supplies within the district, and could arrange assistance from all levels of Government as need be. This is pivotal role of co-ordination, and considering the public view, has assisted in a degree of decentralization of decision making and implementation of the work of all the departments of Government. The arrangements are convenient from the point of view of welfare of the public who might demand local problems to be attended to promptly. Action on many such complaints and demands can be initiated at the Deputy Commissioner's instance straightway, rather than through references at State Government , etc. For residents who are less resourceful and educated, access to a single authority such as the Deputy Commissioner makes for and quicker satisfaction.


            For office work, the traditional pattern of hierarchical control over various levels of staff unfortunately persists. It is being realised that the increase in the volumes of work, as well as a change in the very concept of Government as a servant, rather than master, necessitates reform in district administration. The change is, however, negligible so far, and the Deputy Commissioner manages his office work through officers who head branches consisting of superintendents, assistants and clerks. The office procedures are time worn, and are frequently found by the public to be quite oppressive and time consuming. a review of the system and procedure is imperative. Some steps have been initiated by the Government at state level, but these are yet to be adopted at district level.   


            The important branches which exist in almost all the district are : Registration Branch, Judicial Record Branch, Establishment Branch Nazarat Branch, Development Branch, Miscellaneous Branch, Peshi Branch, Complaints and Enquiries Branch, Local Funds Branch, Copying Agency, District Revenue Accounts Branch, Flood Relief Branch, Revenue Record Branch, Sadr Kanungo's Branch, Cesus Branch etc. The system would easily be going back a hundred years.

(ii)        As ncollector the Deputy Commissioner  is the head of the revenue administration in the district and although it no longer claim the major shares of his attention , it still remains his," home ground for wich he and he alone is responsible to the Government rought the Financial commissioner  , Revenue  Being the highest authority in respect of land records and collection of state revenues in the district, he is to keep accurate and uptodatee maintence of record of rights of land. He is responsble for the collection of the land revnue as well as other kinds of Government taxes, feed and dues. he is the appointing authority for most of the important subordinate revenue staf in the district and supervises and controls their work.

            His duties as collector include looking after the general interests and welfare of the cultivators and so far as they relate to cltivation and allied matters on which he depends for his to cultivation and alliedmatters on which he depends for his living. In his statutory   and appelate, authority the collector decides the rights of tannest. such as mutation, encroachment land acquisition. etc. He is responsible for controlling all the Government properties in the district and in normal agricultural distress or in emergencies like flooe, drough, scarcity, outbreak of epidemics, etc. difficulties and hardships of the people are quickly and effectively remedied. He is responsible for the grant and eventual recovery of certain types of loans for agricultural improvement. He is the highest revenue judicial authority in district and hears appeals against the decisions of subordinate revenue officers in a verity of matters.

             All  the branches dealing with revenue matters are under the supervision of a superintendent who supervises the Sadr. kanungo Branch, the District Revenue Account Branch Vernacular Records Room Branch Copying Agency, Registration Branch and Rehabilitation  Branch. Most of the workrelating to land revenue administration is carried on in Sadr Kanungo's Branch. The District Revenue Account Branch is under the charge of an Office Assistant known as the District Revenue Assistant.

            iii. The role of the District magistrate too follows an inheritance from British , the India. According to the Punjab Police Rules,   1861 the District Magistrate  is responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the district for which he is assisted  by the district police force headed by the district Superintendent  of police . Various power to deal with situation and also to exercise control over the police force are specified in the Rule lidib and other statutory provisions and administrative   instruction. In actual practice however the District Superindent of police ( or the Senior Superintendent of police) has come to enjoy a large measure of independence especially in the control of crime. Over the years a working relationship has developed between district Magistrate and the Senior  Superintendent of police which is often informal. After the separation of the judiciary from the executive, the District Magistrate and his his executive magistrate, have had little to do with judicial function. Seccurity proceeding which are defined as proceeding   which are defined as proceeding for maintaining security and law and order, are still within the power of the District Magistrate and his Executive Manager.

            Sub Divisional Officer:- ( Civil).- Each subdivision is headed by a Sub Divisional Officer ( Civil) who reported directly of the Deputy Commissioner. A member of the junior scale of the I.A.S, or a middle level officer of the state Civil Services the Sub Divisional Officer ( Civil) who reports directly position in the three important areas of administration handled by the  Deputy Commissioner.  The powers and responsibilities of the Sub Divisional  Officer relating to revenue magisterial, Deputy Commissioner but at a lower level. While administration of land revenue and control of land records is his direct  responsibility, he assists the Deputy Commissioner in co-ordination of work in the development oriented departments within the subdivision.

            As Sub Divisional Magistrate, his duties include liaison and co-ordination with the police in the sub division, and the maintenance of public order. Specific powers are assigned to the Sub Divisional  Magistrate by statutory including under the Criminal Procedure Code, the police Rules and other laws to exercise effective supervision over the law and order situation in his area.  As with his superior, the District Magistrate, the involvement of the Sub Divisional Magistrate in law and order functions draws upon convention and he too develops a working relationship with his counterpart the Deputy Superintendent of Police.  This system of co-ordination needs review and has been engaging the attention of the State Government for some years.

            As the eyes and ears of the Deputy Commissioner within a subdivision, the sub Divisional Officer (Civil) has much public contact.  He is traditionally considered the senior most executive representative of the State Government within his sub division.

            Tehsildar and Naib-Tahsildar- There is no substantial difference between the duties of Tahsildars and the Naib Tahsildars excepting that the Tahsildars have been invested with the powers of Assistant Collector Ist Grade under the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, with regard to the partition cases only whereas the Naib-Tahsildars are the Assistant Collectors 2nd Grade for all purpose.

            The Tahsildar and Naib Tahsildar are responsible for the collection of land revenue and other dues payable to the Government. They have to tour extensively to keep in touch with the subordinate revenue officials, to observe the seasonal conditions and condition of crops to take note of the difficulties of the cultivators.  They were also required to distribute taccavi, as form of agricultural credit given by Government directly to cultivators, but with specialised credit institutions, taccavi loans have been phased out. The Tahsildars decide matters such as correction of entries in the account books, sometimes providing on the spot relief to the people faced with normal calamities. The normal practice, however, is for the Tahsildars to draw up reports and recommend remission or suspension of revenue, bring the records upto date, sit in court to settle dispute regarding tenancy, arrears of rent, ejectment of tenants entries in accounts books, etc.

            The Tahsildars and Naib Tahsildar in the district are assisted by a Sadr Kanungo, as incharge of the records at the district headquarters, 1 Thur Sem Kanungo, 3 office Kanungos (one each at tahsil headquarters), Assistant Office Kanunugos (two at Rupnagar and Kharar tahsils and one at Anandpur Sahib), 17 field Kanungos (7 at Rupnagar, 6 at Kharar and 4 at Anandpur Sahib), 1 Naib Sadr Kanungo, 248 Patwaris, as on 31 March 1983, besides other ministerial Class III and miscellaneous Class IV staff.


            Kanungos and Patwaris- The duties of Kanungo are of a supervisory nature. He is the link between the tahsil officer and Patwari. Each Tahsildar is assisted by an office Kanungo, whose main duty is to consolidate the information on different matters. Similarly, in the Deputy Commissioners office, there is a Sadr Kanungo, who inter alia is in charge of Patwari's and Kanungos' establishments and carries out inspections of patwar circles and Kanungos in addition to those by Tahsildars. The purpose of special Kanungo or Patwari moharrir is to make the information contained in revenue records accessible to the public and the courts, by preparing extracts from the revenue records.  The special Kanungo assits the courts of law in the examination of revenue records before the court and by drawing attention to those parts of the records which the court ought to examine.

            The Patwari is the local representative of Government  in the village.  He has usually one or four villages in his charge. His local knowledge is extensive.

            The Patwaris duties include conducting surveys, field inspections, recording of crops, revision of maps or reports relating to mutation, partition, revenue or rent, taccavi, etc. Under the orders of the Collector, he prepares the records of rights. He is also required to report to the Tahsildar any calamity affecting land, crops, cattle or the agricultural classes. He also assists in the decennial census operations. He assists the police in preparing maps to illustrate police enquiries. The preparation of dhal bachh (papers regarding distribution of revenue over holdings) is his special duty.

            Lambardars- The Lambardars or village headman was traditionally a representative of Government and thus considered an important functionary in the village. With improved communications in villages, the lambardar's role as the surveyor of local information has diminished. His main duty now is to collect the land revenue and   remit  it  by post or deposit the same  in  the tahsil treasury  personally. He is given 5 per cent of land revenue collections  which is called pachotra. In addition to his duties of land

 revenue collection, he is required to report any criminal activity to the nearest police station. He is a multipurpose official to help the Government in getting all sorts of data and information. He is the custodian of all government properties in the village. He maintains a register of births and deaths. He also reports to the Tahsildar about the deaths of assignees and pensioners and their absence for over a year. He is assisted by a village Chowkidar.

(c) Development Organisaton

            The community Development (now known as Rural Development) Programme was launched on 2 October 1952 to raise the living standard and to ameliorate the lot of the rural people.  The entire district has been brought under the programme. The district is divided into 6 development blocks, viz. Rupnagar, Chamkaur Sahib, Kharar, Majri, Nurpurbedi  and Anandpur Sahib. Each block is under the control of a Block Development and Panchayat officer. The administrative control of the block is with the Chairman of the respective Block Samiti, an elected representative.  For co-ordination, the Deputy Commissioner uses the local sub Divisional  Officer (Civil) at sub divisional level, and the District Development and Panchayat Officer at the district level.  The overall control of block development is with the deputy Commissioner.

            With the merger of the Panchayat Department with the Development Department in 1959, the Block Development officer has been redesignated as the Block Development and Panchayat Officer and has been vested with the powers of Panchayat Officer under the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952.

            The Block Development and Panchayat Officer is primarily responsible for the successful implementation of the Community Development Programme. He also guides and supervises the work of the staff of the other departments in his block.  He is assisted by one Social Education and Panchayat Officer, one Mukya Sevika, one Overseer (popularly known as Extension Officer) and  a number of Gram Sevikas and Gram Sevaks, besides ministerial Class III and Class IV Staff. He has also a number of Extension Officers belonging to Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Co-operation and Industries Department. This arrangement was made after the introduction of the Panchayati Raj in the State in order to co-ordinate the activities of various departments.


(d)        General Arrangement for Disposal of Business.

            As district level, the Deputy Commissioner is assisted  by an Additional Deputy Commissioner, a General Assistant, a District Revenue Officer, a District Officer, Removal of Grievances, a District Transport Officer, a District Development and Panchayat Officer and Executive Magistrates, all of whom report directly to the Deputy Commissioner. These officials are delegated certain powers under the relevant acts, and in their various fields, assist the Deputy Commissioner in coordinating the work of various department.

            District Officer, Removal of Grievances- At the district headquarters, there is a District Officer, Removal of Grievances, who is a senior Magistrate or an officer of equivalent status. He redresses the grievances of the public in the district and expedites action on the complaints received by him relating to all the departments. He also acts as a co-ordinating officer in the disposal of the complaints of the public.

            District Transport Officer- The District Transport Officer is generally a Magistrate or an officer of equivalent status. He is the registering authority (motors) and the licensing officer in the district. His duties and functions comprise traffic checking, survey of routes, etc.

            District Development and Panchayat Officer- He is incharge of the work relating to development including local development, Five-year Plans, Panchayats, National Extension Service etc. He co-ordinates the activities of all the development departments in the district. The Development Branch of the Deputy commissioner's Office, which deals with the planning of Development programmes and agricultural production, functions under his supervisor. All the block Development and Panchayat Officer in the district are under his control in respect of the implementation of the Community Development Programme.

            Executive Magistrate-There are 5 Executive Magistrate in the district's, 2 in Rupnagar, 2 in Kharar and 1 in Anandpur Sahib. Since the separation of Judiciary from executive, the Executive Magistrate help the District Magistrate in the maintenance of law and order. They also deal with security/ revenue cases. Besides, they are responsible for criminal work of the various police stations falling in their respective jurisdiction.

            Registration- The Deputy Commissioner is the Registrar and in that capacity he is responsible for the work of land registration in the district.  In the Rupnagar District, theRegistrar is assisted by 3 Tahsildars as Sub-Registrars, one each in Rupnagar, tahsil is the ex-officio Joint Sub-Registrar. The Sub Registrar and the Joint Sub-Registrar do registration work in addition to their other duties. In chamkaur Sahib and Nurpur Bedi sub tahsils, the work of registration is done by the Naib Tahsildar.

            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 headquarters, and clerks/ Readers assist the Sub-Registrars/ Joint Sub-Registrars in the tahsils/ sub-tahsils in performing the registration work.

            Official Receive- At the district headquarters, there is an Official Receiver who is appointed by the Government on the recommendations of the District and Sessions Judge. He is incharge of the work concerning insolvency escapes. When any person applies for insolvency, his property is put under his charge and he disposes it of according to the orders of the Insolvency Court. He keeps 7 ½ per cent of the proceeds as his remuneration. He also acts as a Court Auctioner and is paid a commission of 4 per cent on the auction proceeds.

            Oath Commissioner- There are 20 Oath Commissioner in the district: 10 at Rupnagar,  5 at Kharar and 5 at Anandpur Sahib. They charge Re 1 as attestation fee for an affidavit. They are practicing lawyers who have been empowered and registered as such by the Government. Their work is to assist the public in preparing and authenticating important legal documents.

            District Attorney- The District Attorney is under the administrative control of the director, Prosecution and Litigation and Joint Secretary to Government, Punjab. At the district headquarters, he presents the Government cases in the court of District and Session Judge. He is assisted by 3 Assistant District Attorneys, Grade I ; 7 Assistant District Attorneys, Grade II; I Assistant; 1 Senior Clerk; 2 Clerks; besides other ministerial  Class III and miscellaneous Class IV staff. The District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys are permanent employees of the Government. They are not allowed to engage in private practice.

(c) District Committees

District Committee have been constituted to accelerate the disposal of business. Meetings of these committees are held at the district headquarters to discuss the progress made in the various plan schemes and the difficulties experienced by the different Government departments in relation to each other. The Deputy Commissioner presides over these meetings and acts a co-ordinator. The following committees have been constituted in the Rupnagar District-

1.         The District Grievances Committee.

2.         The District Agricultural Production Committee.

3.         The District Committee for Reclamation of Kallar land

4.         The District land Improvement Committee.

5.         The District Industrial Advisory Committee

6.         The District employment Advisory Committee

7.         The District Food Advisory Committee.

8.         The District Welfare Committee for the welfare of Schedule castes.

9.         The District Committee for the disbursement of L.I.G/ M.I.G. housing loan.

10.       The District Development Committee.

11.       The District Flood Advisory Committee

(f) State and Central Government Officers.


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


1          Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar

2.         Additional Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar

3.         General Assistant to Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar

4.         District Officer, Removal of Grievances, Rupnagar.

5.         Executive Magistrate, Rupnagar.

6.         District Transport Officer, Rupnagar.

7.         District Development and Panchayat, Rupnagar.

8.         District Revenue Officer, Rupnagar.

9.         Sub Divisional Officer, (Civil), Rupnagar.

10.       Sub Divisional Officer, (Civil), Kharar

11.       Sub Divisional Officer, (Civil), Anandpur Sahib.

12.       Tehsildar, Rupnagar.

13.       Tehsildar, Kharar.

14.       Tehsildar, Anandpur Sahib

15.       Naib-Tehsildar, Rupnagar.

16.       Naib-Tehsildar, Chamkaur Sahib

17.       Naib-Tehsildar, Nurpur Bedi

18.       Naib-Tehsildar, Kharar

19.       Naib-Tehsildar, Anandpur Sahib

20.       Superintendent of Police, Rupnagar.

21.       District Employment of Police, Rupnagar.

22.       District Attorney, Rupnagar.

23.        Executive Engineer, Water Management and Investigation Board, Rupnagar.

24.       Assistant Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Rupnagar.

25.       District Education Officer, Rupnagar.

26.       District Public Relations Officer, Rupnagar.

27.       District Food and Supplies Controller, Rupnagar.

28.       District Food and Supplies Officer, Rupnagar.

29.       District Food and Supplies Officer, Anandpur Sahib.

30.       District Food and Supplies Officer, Kharar

31        District Language Officer, Rupnagar.

32        District Savings Officer, Rupnagar.

33        District Industries Officer, Rupnagar.

34        Naib-Tahsildar Election, Rupnagar.

35        Chief Agricultural Officer, Rupnagar.

36.       District Statistical Officer, Rupnagar.

37        District Welfare Officer, Rupnagar.

38        District Fisheries Officer, Rupnagar.

39        District Animal Husbandry, Officer, Rupnagar.

40        District Sports Officer, Rupnagar.

41        Divisional Forest Officer, Rupnagar, Forest Division, Rupnagar.

42        Treasury Officer, Rupnagar.

43        Commandant, Home Guards, Rupnagar.

44        Assistant Soil Conservation Officer, Rupnagar.

45        Assistant Soil Conservation Officer, Kharar

46        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Rupnagar.

47        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Anandpur Sahib

48        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Nangal

49        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Naya Nangal

50        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Morinda

51        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Kurali

52        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Kharar

53        Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Chamkaur Sahib

54        District and Sessions Judge, Rupnagar.

55        Additional District and Sessions Judge, Rupnagar.

56        Chief Judicial Magistrate, Rupnagar.

57        Senior Sub-Judge, Rupnagar.

58        Judicial Magistrate- Rupnagar

59        Sub-Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Kharar

60        Sub-Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Anandpur Sahib

61        Civil Surgeon, Rupnagar

62        District Family Planning Officer, Rupnagar.

63        Secretary, Zila Sainik Board, Rupnagar.

64        Deputy Superintendent Sub Jail, Rupnagar.

65        District Probation Officer, Rupnagar.

66        Chairman, Improvement Trust, Rupnagar.

67        Secretary, Zila Parishad, Rupnagar.

68        Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Rupnagar.

69        Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Rupnagar.

70        Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Anandpur Sahib

71        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Rupnagar.

72        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Chamkaur Sahib

73        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Anandpur Sahib

74        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Nurpur Bedi

75        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Kharar.

76        Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Majri

77         Superintending Engineer, Project Circle, Irrigation Branch, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

78        Superintending Engineer, Investigation Circle, Irrigation Branch, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

79        Executive Engineer, Construction Division P.W.D. B & R Rupnagar.

80        Executive Engineer, P.W.D. Public Health Division, Rupnagar.

81         Executive Engineer, Project Division No. I, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

82         Executive Engineer, Project Division No. II, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

83        Executive Engineer, Hydel construction Division No.1, Nangal.

84        Executive Engineer, Hydel Construction Division No. II, Nangal.

85        Executive Engineer, Hydel Construction Division No. IV, Nangal

86        Executive Engineer, Hydel Field Division, Nangal.

87        Executive Engineer, Hydel Mechanical Division No. 1, Kotla

88        Executive Engineer, Hydel Quality Control Division, Nangal

89        Executive Engineer, Hydel Construction Division No. III, Kotla

90        Executive Engineer, Hydel Mechanical Division No. III, Nangal.

91        Executive Engineer, Intensive Investigation Division, Rupnagar.

92         Executive Engineer, Hydel Investigation Division, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

93        Executive Engineer, Satluj Yamuna Link Investigation Division No. 1, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.

94        Executive Engineer, Satluj Yamuna Link Investigation Division No. II, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.




1.         Income Tax Officer, Rupnagar.

2.         Superintendent Central Excise and Custom, Kharar.

3.         Superintendent, Central Excise and Custom, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar.




(a)   Land Revenue Administration

(i)         History of land Revenue Assessment and Management

The constitution of Rupnagar as a district for revenue administration and other purposes has been mentioned in Chapter I ‘General’. The present chapter discusses how the system of management of land revenue administration had developed in modern times in this district. Of course the existing pattern is uniform for all districts of Punjab and is not peculiar to Rupnagar.

Revenue System under Muhammadan Emperors :-  In the period of Muhammadan Emperors (11th Century to 18th Century), Rupnagar and Kharar tahsils of the present Rupnagar District formed part of Suba of Sirhind. The revenue was then regularly assessed, but the statistics of that assessment are not extant, being partly destroyed in the interim anarchy that preceded the consolidation of Sikh power.

Revenue System under the Sikh Rule :-  The common system followed by the Sikh rulers was to collect their revenue in kind. Two-fifths of the gross produce was the ordinary proportion taken by them from the cultivators. Where the soil was poor, or in special cases where members or certain specified castes were the occupants, the levy was lowered to one-third, or even a forth of the total produce. But nowhere did the proportion exceed two-fifths of the crop production. It was a usual practice among the Sikh Jagirdars to keep a complete account of their revenue collections to the minutest detail. The name of the cultivators, the gross production in a season and the share due for recovery by the Chief, were all exhibited. Where such authentic records exist, they are manifestly valuable guides to an officer making his assessment.

Collection of Revenue during the British Rule and thereafter

            It was the British who first applied the concept of the realisation of land revenue as the terms of the contract between the cultivator and the State, and began to recover the same in cash. A settlement of the revenue recoverable from every estate was made periodically (usually every thirty or forty years) under the provisions of the Land Revenue Act. Land revenue was recovered strictly in terms of the norms laid down in the settlement and these were enforced until the next settlement. Each settlement was a crucial basis of assessment of revenue, which indeed formed the primary resource of the State for financing governmental activity. Information regarding the settlements only of Ropar and Kharar tahsils is, however, available. In regard to Anandpur Sahib Tahsil, it was part of Una Tahsil of Hoshiarpur District.

            Summary Settlement :-  Estates as they were lapsed to the British Government were summarily assessed in cash by Officers of the Ambala Political Agency. These Assessments were usually excessively high, as attempts were made to take in money the  full equivalent of the Sikh collections in kind.

Kharar Tahsil

            In nearly half of the tahsil, the Jagiddars continued to collect revenue in kind upto 1853, generaly at two-fifths of the gross produce. In the remaining portion of the Tahsil, half summary settlements were made by various officers at different times between 1847 and 1852. Little is known about them, but Mr. Philip Melvill, Settlement Officer says that they were very unsatisfactory.

Ropar Tahsil

            British acquisition of the Ropar Tahsil began in 1836 with the succession to the rich Morinda tract, by escheat on the death of Raja Sangat Singh of Jind. Summary settlements were made for two-thirds of the Tahsil between 1846 and 1848, the remaining third continuing to pay revenue in kind to the Jagirdars upto 1853. The summary settlements are said to have been very unsuccessful.

            Regular Settlement 1847-1852 :-  Immediately after the summary settlement, arrangements were made for carrying out a regular settlement. This was conducted by Melvills for the whole of the area forming the present Rupnagar District.

            Melvill’s assessments as first announced in Rupar were rather high and in many cases reductions were given almost immediately, especially in the Bet Circle. The Commissioner writing in 1855 considered the assessment to be perhaps somewhat high compared with Kharar but thought that the revenue would be willingly paid in ordinary seasons. Melvill gave certain reductions on the summary demand estimates from 16 to 19 per cent in Kharar and 9 per cent in Rupar. The Comissioner in 1855 held that the Kharar assessment was very moderate.

            In the area of the present Anandpur Sahib Tahsil, which at that time formed part of Una Tahsil of the Hoshiarpur District, 12 per cent reductions was given on the summary demand estimates by Melvill.

            The results of the settlements may be briefly summarized as follows :-


Approximate revnue summary settlement excluding Muafis(Rs)

Revenue of regular settlement of 1852










            First Revises Settlement, 1882-1887 :-  The revises settlement was taken by A. Kensington for Rupar and Kharar tahsils, operations lasting from 1882-1887. The settlement work for the Una Tahsil was done by Captian Montgomery, which covered the area of present Anandpur Sahib Tahsi.

Kensington in the Rupar Subdivision (Rupnagar and Kharar tahsils) found that there had been a great increase in prices estimated at 65 per cent since the Regular Settlement but only a small increase in the area under cultivation.

Th population was dense and the size of holdings small. The level of farmers’ indebtedness was moderate, alienation of land ownership considerable and there were no special economic drawbacks for the farmers of this region. The pitch of the orectical Government demand had been reduced from two-thirds to one-half of the net assets but simultaneously, the level of various other cesses had increased. Since cash rents were paid on only 6 per cent of the cultivation in Rupar and 4 per cent in Kharar, the estimate of produce was the chief guide to assessment. The tract was largely dependent on rainfall, but this was sufficiently constant in both level and distribution and cultivating classes and the owners themselves formed 85 per cent of the total cultivators in Rupar and 78 per cent of those in Kharar. The old assessment was full enough everywhere except in small Charsa Circle. There was little scope for increased revenue except through the small amounts levied on the new cultivation and increase resulting from the rise in prices. In farming his estimates of produce, Mr. Kensington assumed very moderate yields and his commutation prices were bases on the average rates prevailing during the twenty-five years period 1980-84 which they closely followed.

The following enhancement were taken at the First Revised Settlement:




Increase or decrease compared with regular settlement

Increase or decrease percentage on regular settlement













            Second Revised Settlement, 1915-20 :-  The settlement operations for Rupar and Kharar tahsils were commenced in October 1915 and the reports were submitted in the summer of 1917. These were carried out by R.B. Whitehead, Settlement Officer, Ambala.

            The Financial results of the settlement may be summed up as follows :-


Old demand

Sanctioned new Demand

New demand actually imposed

Actual increase Amount




















            The settlement operations for the Una Tahsil commenced in October 1910 and were completed in October 1914. These were carried out by H.L. Shuttleworth, Settlement Officer, Una. The former Una Tahsil of the Hoshiarpur District included the area of the present Anandpur Sahib Tahsil of Rupnagar District.

Working of the Second Revised Settlement

            The assessment made in the settlement operations in the areas forming parts of present district of Rupnagar during the Second Revised Settlement of 1915-20, Ambala District and the Second Revised Settlement of 1910-14 of Hoshiarpur District was due for re-assessment after a period of 30 years. But, it could not be undertaken on account of the World War II (1939-45) followed by the partition of the country and its Independence in 1947.

            The charges of land revenue, fixed in the second decade of the present century, had lost their contact with the income arising out of land. With the introduction of various development plans, the Government expenditure had also vastly increased particularly since the Independence in 1947. These State Government, therefore tapped different sources of revenue to meet this ever growing demand. As regards land revenue, in additions to the demand assessed during the settlement operations of 1915-20, Surcharge, Special Assessment, Special Charge, Additional Charge and Additional Land Revenue have been levied in accordance with the Punjab Land Revenue (Surcharge) Act, 1956, the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Assessment) Act, 1956, the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Charges), Act, 1958, the Punjab Land Revenue (Additional Charge) Act, 1960 and the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1974. Land Revenue had ceased to form a significant portion of the State’s financial resources. Other resources of revenue have begun to assume great importance.

            Special Assessment of Land put to Non-agricultural uses :-  After the Second World War, a good paucity of residential and commercial accommodation was felt in the State. The re-settlement of the displaced persons from Pakistan created a further shortage of cultivable area. This led to the extension of boundaries of the town to the revenue yielding agricultural lands resulting in considerable loss of revenue to the Government. In order to levy special assessment on such lands the Government amended the Land Revenue Act by passing the Punjab Act XII of 1952. This amended Act provided for special assessment of land put to non-agricultural uses outside the abadi deh (inhabited area) as specified during the last settlement.

            It was provided in the Act that any use of land for purpose of gardens and orchards or pastures or houses on such lands occupied for agricultural purposes or for purposes subservient to agriculture or small scale and cottage industries or for any public charitable or religious purposes, would not be considered for use different from that for which an assessment was in force. For such lands, land revenue would continue to be realised and be raised in the next ordinary settlement to the same level as the assessment of arable lands in the vicinity.

            The land revenue rates in respect of Rupnagar Tahsil have been revised, since the tahsil had been resettled and new jama had come into force in Rupnagar Tahsil with effect from Kharif, 1963. The land revenue rates differ from assessment circle to assessment circle of which there are generally 4-5 in a tahsil. In each circle, different rates are levied for different types of soil. There are no separate rates of land revenue for garden lands with regard to the rates of net assessment. The rates are worked out on the basis of rates of nehri (canal irrigated) and chahi (well irrigated) areas after making a deduction of the rate for dry areas.

            The existing rates of land revenue assessment for Rupnagar District. and the minimum and maximum rates per hectare for day, wet or gardener lands are given below :-

Dry Land

Wet Land

Barani (rain-fec) Abi, Sailab, Etc.


Government / Private canal irrigated and well irrigared











(ii)               Collection of Land Revenue

The collection of land revenue is the responsibility of the Lambardar (village headman), for which he is paid pachotra, a cess charged at the rate of 5 per cent of the land revenue. Besides land revenue, the Lambardar collects abiana and water advantages rate, for which he is paid 3 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, as collection charges.

(iii)             Income from Land Revenue and Special Cases

Land Revenue :-  The land revenue fixed as in the last settlement in realized to this day as there had been no revised settlement thereafter except in Rupnagar Tahsil where it was revised in 1963 with effect from kharif 1963.

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

            Land revenue on individual holding (on owner’s total holding in the State) up to 5 standard area was abolished from rabi of the agricultural year, 1966-67 under the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1968. A landowner is eligible for this concession as and when he falls into category of owners holding 5 standard acres of land or less.

            The land revenue is payable in two installments, for kharif crop by 15 January and for rabi crop by 15 June. The following statement gives the details of income from land revenue and remissions in the Rupnagar District, during 1973-74 to 1982-83 :-

Year ending Rabi















































(Source :  Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar)

            Additional Land Revenue :-  The additional land revenue had been imposed under the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1974, with effect from kharif crop or the agricultural year 1974-75 and is payable by all land owners paying land revenue exceeding Rs. 20 per year. The liability of additional land revenue increases progressively with the land revenue payable.

            The rates or Additional Land revenue are as under :-


Where the total revenue exceeds twenty rupees but does not exceed fifty rupees annually.

Two hundred per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds twenty rupees.


Where the total land revenue exceeds fifty rupees but does not exceed one hundred rupees annually.

Sixty rupees plus two hundred and fifty per cent which the total land revenue exceeds fifty rupees.


Where the total land revenue exceeds one hundred rupees but does not exceed two hundred rupees annually.

One hundred and eighty five rupees plus three hundred per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds one hundred rupees.


Where the total land revenue exceeds two hundred rupees annually.

Four hundred and eighty five rupees plus three hundred and fifty per cent of the amount by which the total land revenue exceeds two hundred rupees.




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