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Land Reforms - Measures

          The system of Land Administration inherited by this State in 1948 was at great variance and represented strange motley of varying practices. For instance, in a State like Chamba, land has not at all been surveyed or settled. On the other hand , in States of Mandi, Rampur-Bushahr, Suket, Baghat etc., the settlement operations were confined to the cultivated area only, leaving all other categories of land completely un-surveyed and thus and not accounted for. As regards tenure and land ownership pattern, the entire territory in Hill States belonged to the Ruler who was recorded in Revenue Records as superior owner or Alla Malik. As a corollary to this practice, all the cultivators enjoyed the status of tenants or Bethus only, and found entry in the Revenue Records as Adna Malik,(i.e inferior owners only) This retrogressive practice was hardly conducive to agricultural production and reminded one of feudalistic hang-over.

          Thus, to put such a system in proper order called for concerted and pioneering effort on the part of the State Government as the task was indeed daunting and its handling required lot of ingenuity. It goes to the credit of the then State Government that they took bold and imaginative steps to pave the way for a transition to a satisfactory and effective system. On the formation of the State, on April 15, 1948 the first step that it took was to abolish the anachronistic practice of Begar because it hardly sat at ease with the rising expectations of the post-independence people. As has been described supra, the Himachal Pradesh Abolition of Big Landed Estates and Land Reforms Act, 1953 heralded an era of peasant proprietorship in the State. In terms of provision of the aforesaid Act, the Bethus were conferred occupancy rights and were allowed to acquire proprietary rights on payment of normal compensation. Similarly the feudalistic and colonial practice of Alla Malik was straight way extinguished and was made to pave for acquisition of proprietary rights by inferior land owners.

          Further more, in order to streamline the entire Land Administration, the Punjab pattern of Land Administration was introduced in Himachal Pradesh by extending the provisions of Punjab Land Revenue and Punjab Tenancy Act. In 1954 the Punjab Acts were substituted by Himachal Pradesh Land Revenue Act, 1954. Thus it is the Himachal Pradesh land Revenue Act, 1954 that provides legal frame work of Revenue Administration and lends sanctity to the preparation and maintenance of all land records. Although this Act forms the bed-rock of all Revenue Administration, yet in practice, its guidelines are spread over a variety of rules/ standing orders/instructions. For example , it is the provisions of Chapter- 4 of the aforesaid Act that enjoin upon the State Government to carry out survey and settlement operations of each revenue estate, though in practice the main plan on which field staff works as seeks constant guidance in from the Himachal Pradesh Land Records Manual. The Chapter-7 of this Manual lays down statutory guidelines to maintain and update the record –of –rights in an estate.

          The basic land records are prepared first of all at the time of first settlement of an estate. Such records are called standing Records and consist of the following documents:-

    • Preliminary proceedings.
    • Shajra Kishtwar or field map and a detailed plan of property belonging to the State Government.
    • Shajra Nasab or genealogical tree, also called pedigree table.
    • A Jamabandi or Register of holdings of all owners and tenants showing the fields comprised in each holding of an estate, the revenue payable by each landowner, and the rent payable by each tenant.
    • A list of revenue assignment and pensions.
    • Statement of rights in irrigation.
    • Wajub-ul-Arz, i.e. a statement of custom respecting rights and liabilities in an estate.
    • A Statement of rights in well.
    • The orders of the Settlement Officer determining assessment.
    • The orders of the Settlement Officer distributing the assessment over holdings.

Function & Activites - Secretariat Level

          The Revenue Minister is over all in charge of Revenue Department and for smooth functioning of the department at Secretariat level it has been divided in four Sections and two Cells namely Revenue-A, B, C, D Project Cell & Stamp Cell. The Financial Commissioner-cum-Principal Secretary(Revenue)is the Administrative Secretary of the Department who is assisted by Secretary (Revenue), Joint Secretary/Deputy Secretary to the Government of Himachal Pradesh .Organization set up and details of functions and duties of all Sections & Cells of Revenue Department are as under:-

          Revenue-A Section

1.    Establishment matters relating to the District Revenue Officers and Tehsildars under the Revenue Department.

2.    All Type of service matters of Patwaris , Kanungos of the Department of the Settlement/ Consolidation/ Director, Land Records, R & P Rules of all categories i.e DRO/Tehsildar/Naib-Tehsildar/ Kanungo/Patwari and other ministerial staff as well as Court Cases i.e OA and CWP and other allied matters including direct/ in direct Vidhan Sabha questions relating to establishment.

3.    Establishment matters of the staff of the Divisional Commissioner/ DCs offices, R & P Rules of the staff posted in the said offices, Annual Administrative report, creation of posts for the newly created institute such as Sub Division, Tehsil and Sub Tehsil continuation of temporary posts of all categories/ sanction to engage Daily waged staff/Part time workers under Revenue Department, HBA to the staff posted in the Divisional Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner offices, approval of TA claim / tour programme of the Divisional Commissioners and JCC meeting.

4.    All type of circulars received from the various departments, correspondence regarding introduction of Hindi Report and returns -submission thereof to the concerned departments, time barred claims of demand of the DRO, Tehsildari & Naib-Tehsildari Associations and Joint Military Liaison conference , SPs/DCs Conference , Collection of information and sent to quarter concerned in consolidation manner, all arrangements required to be made during Vidhan Sabha Session i.e, duty roster of field offices during session including requisition of Vehicle from the Director of Land Records, Divisional Commissioner, Shimla/ Settlement Officer, Shimla and Director of Agriculture Census.

5.    Establishment of Director, Agriculture census/ Statistical Asstt. Research Officer/Assistant Research officers, Consolidation officer, Asstt. Consolidation officer and RTI Jogindernagar.

          Revenue-B Section

1.    Amendment in Acts/ Rules pertaining to Revenue Department.

2.    Implementation of Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holding Act,1972 and Rules framed there under.

3.    Land transfer cases under section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and land Reforms Act, 1972.

4.    Benami transaction of entire state.

5.    Implementation of H.P. Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972.

6.    R & P plans for Cement Projects.

7.    Land to landless under various schemes and Nautor Rules 1968.

8.    Correspondence regarding Gorkha, Gaddi Labana & Gujjar, Tribal Advisory Committee etc. and meetings thereof.

9.    Correspondence relating to various Vidhan Sabha Committees.

10.  Correspondence regarding encroachment on government land.

11.  Settlement Operation.

12.  Consolidation Operation.

13.  Revenue Minister Secretaries Conference.

14.  Implementation of H.P. Village Common Lands Vesting and Utilization Act, 1974.

15.  Correspondence regarding Kishan Pass Books Act Rules.

16.  20 Points Programme.

17.  The Court Matters and Vidhan Sabha matter relating to above subjects.

          Revenue-C Section

1.    Budget Estimates/ Allocation of Divisional Commissioners/ Director of Land Records/ Consolidation of Holdings and Settlement Officers Shimla & Kangra Division.

2.    Quarterly Progress Report of Annual Plan and Centrally Sponsored Schemes of plan scheme related to Revenue Department.

3.    Computerization of Land Records in Himachal Pradesh.

4.    Correspondence regarding vehicles of various offices of Revenue Department.

5.    Fixing of Fleet strength of Revenue Department in H.P.

6.    Correspondence regarding establishment of Relief & Rehabilitation Department in H.P.

          Project Cell

1.    Constitution of Committees in respect of various projects to look after Relief and Rehabilitation work which are as under:-

a.     State/ District Level Pong Dam Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Chief Minister and Revenue Minister respectively.

b.    State/ District Level Parabati Project Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Chief Minister and Deputy Commissioner, Kullu respectively.

c.     State/ District Level Kol Dam Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and Deputy Commissioner of concern district respectively.

d.    State/ District Level Nathpa Jhakri Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Revenue Minister.

e.    State level Chamera Project, Baira Suil and Thein Dam Project Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister.

f.      District Level Baspa Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Revenue Minister.

g.    District Level Baspa Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur.

h.    State/ District Level Bhakra Dam Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister and Deputy Commissioner respectively.

2.    Framing of R & R Schemes in respect of various projects being executed in the State.

3.    Convening meeting of the State Level Committee which required following exercise:

a.     Preparing agenda for the meeting.

b.    Serving notice for attending meeting to all the official and non official members of the respective committees.

c.     Drafting minutes of meeting and its distribution.

d.    Verification and distribution of TA claims of non official members of the respective committee.

4.    Monitoring progress/ review of decision taken in meeting of State Level.

5.    Monitoring implementation of R & R schemes.

6.    Follow up of court cases regarding enhancement of compensation under section 28-A of land acquisition Act.

7.    All other misc. work relating to the problems of Oustees.

8.    Correspondence regarding evacuee properties situated in H.P.and thereof.

9.    Correspondence regarding settlement of audit paras relating to various of Revenue Department.

10.  Correspondence relating to Medical Reimbursement of retires/ non retires of Revenue Department.

11.  Correspondence relating to Wakf Board in H.P.

          Revenue-D Section

1.    Issue of NOC under section 4 of Land Acquisition Act 1894 for acquisition of land to various Departments.

2.    Transfer of land to other Departments.

3.    Sale of land cases.

4.    Cases relating to boundary.

5.    All cases relating to exchange of land.

6.    Lease of land under H.P. lease Rules, 1992 and policy matters relating to lease.

7.    Cases relating to colonization.

8.    All matters relating to land dispute / Mutation/ Change of name of entry Revenue record.

9.    Cases pertaining to Chowkidar / Lambardars.

10.  Resumption of Mufi and Jagir.

11.  Jagir Cases/War Cases.

12.  Conferment of Powers under various Revenue Acts upon Revenue and other offices.

13.  Revenue Court Cases.

14.  Correspondence matters related to ST/SC/OBC etc.

15.  PAC/CAG matters in respect of Revenue Department.

16.  All type of Taccavi Loan.

17.  Recovery etc.

18.  General matter related to Vidhan Sabha.

19.  All correspondence Govt.of India and Miscellaneous correspondence relating to the Govt.of India on national Calamities.

20.  Central Relief Fund/NCCF and State Level Committee Meetings.

21.  Distribution of funds on demand.

22.  Rajya Sabha ,Lok Sabha Questionrelating to National Calamities.

23.  Memorandum/Notes etc.to the Govt.of India on National Calamities.

24.  Re-organization of Tehsil/Sub-Tehsil and Patwar Circles.

25.  Water Mills and recovery of Abhiyana.

26.  Suspension and remission of Land Revenue.

27.  Bhoodan Yojana Board.

28.  Change of Name of Town & Village.

29.  All Court cases relating to above matters.

30.  All Vidhan Sabha Question etc. relating to above mentioned matters.

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