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‘How completely the existing system has failed of attaining these objects, has been shown in the 5th and following paragraphs of the letter written by order of his Lordship to the Sudder Board of Revenue on deputation, dated the 31st of August last. And the following results, obtained from the replies furnished by the officers recently consulted, tend to shew the fact in a still stronger light. It should be observed, too, that none of these settlements, with the exception of a few in the Bareilly division, the Meerut division, and the Delhi territory, have received the confirmation of Government.’”
Number of - - - - - Probable time required for Districts. .. settlement of the District. Agra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 16 or 18 years. Saidabad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 16 or 20 , , Allygurh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 70 -> Cawnpore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - -- 4 -Futtehpore . . . . . . . ........ . . . 4 20 or 25 ,, Allahabad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 50 -> Furruckabad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 No period specified. Belah . . . . . . . .---------------- 34 60 years. Etawah . . . . . . . .......... ...... 32 No period specified. Sirpoorah -----------... . . . . . . . . 226 15 years. Mynpoorie ............ ....... . . . . . . . . . . . - - - - - No return. Goruckpore ... ..... . . . . . . . . . . . 765 7 or 8 years. Raj Sutassee .................. Not stated. 3 or 4 , , Azimgurh . . . . . . . . . . . ......... 8 8 -S. D. Moradabad ............. 38 No period specified. N. D. Moradabad ............ 78 24 years. Suheswan ...----. . . . . . . ......... [....... . . . . . . No return. Bareilly .................... A 888 12 years. Shahjehanpore ............... B 340 25 , , Pillibheet - - - -------------------e. 57 14 > y S. D. Bundelcund ............ None. No period specified. N. D. Ditto ............ ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . No return. Meerut................... c 116 3 years. Boolundshuhur ................. D 396 3 , , Moozuffernugger .............. E 60 15 , , Suharunpore ................ 124 25 , , DELHEE TERRITORY. Rohtuck Division ............. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .------. . . . .--------------Delhee ........................ F 114 3 to 4 years. Northern ..................... G 100 2 to 3 ,, Southern ................. --eee I - - - - - - - - - - - --- No return. Western ................... . . . . . . . . . ... • Ditto.
A Of these, 26 have been confirmed by Government.
B Of these, 10 have been confirmed by Government and the settlement of 139 more villages is stated to be nearly completed.
C Of these, 18 confirmed by Government.
D Of these, 10 ditto.
E Of these, 5 ditto.
F Of these, 63 ditto.
G Of these 12 ditto.’”
The financial effects of these settlements may be considered highly favourable, as the following tabular statement will shew.
Statement of Districts under Settlement in the N. W. Provinces.
1 - 2 - 3 4. 5 Meerut. ............. 15,19,130 16,20,593 | 1,01,463 * * Allygurh.. . . . . . . . . . . 4,80,255 4,14,239 66,016
Suharunpoor............ 5,81,842 6,07,763 25,921
The system which has brought about this creditable result has been much discussed, and while all agree as to the correctness of the principle on which the general settlements are conducted, some advance objections against the total indifference which has been shewn to field rentals and the absence of all detailed inquiry into the real assets of each estate.
At present we have no time to argue the matter, nor do we think that to unprejudiced minds there is any necessity for such argument. The present system has never yet been fairly before the public, and, therefore, those who attempt to go along with us in our explanations must prepare for much dry and uninteresting detail. I shall endeavour to shew the process which is followed according to the latest instructions which have been issued for the guidance of revenue officers.
When a tract of country is marked out for settlement, the first object to be obtained is the demarcation of the village boundaries previous to survey. . The manner in which this is carried into effect varies in each district. But the usual plan of operations is for the tahseeldar and his establishment to mark off all the undisputed boundaries as soon after the rains as possible. They may be decided before the rains, but it will be necessary to go over the work again, in order that the mounds may be raised sufficiently high for the surveyor. The necessity for this double work would be obviated, and many other advantages would be gained, if brick pillars were erected, such as we see in cantonments; and, although a reference to the professional map will always shew where the boundary was fixed at the period of survey, yet there is great reason to apprehend that till pucka pillars or durable marks are erected, boundary affrays will not entirely be got rid of.
The tahseeldar is requested to send in weekly reports to the collector, and whenever he meets with a disputed boundary he is to report the circumstance, detailing the names of the conterminous mouzas and their proprietors, and the position and extent of the ground. To settle these disputed cases a covenanted assistant is deputed into the pergunnah with a native establishinent of peshkars and ameens, if the tahseeldaree omlah are not sufficient for his
purpose. If he cannot persuade the parties to decide the case amongst themselves or by private arbitration within a week, he proceeds to empaunel his own Jury. He selects a few men from amongst the most respectable landholders in the neighbourhood, who are directed to decide the case, provided the parties interested do not challenge any of the jury, on account of enmity, connexion, control or dependance, or any other valid reason whatever. The decision of such a tribunal both in boundary and judicial matters is supreme, and it is specially declared by Regulation 1X. of 1833, that no appeal shall be allowed from such decisions, which are to be immediately executed and maintained, unless the commissioner, subject to the control of the Sudder Board of Revenue, should think proper for any special reason to direct the appointment of another punchayut to revise judgment. Courts of justice are also direct
ed to non-suit any plaint preferred to set aside a decision passed in conformity with these rules.
The importance of fixing boundaries is as well known to eastern as western nations, and the punishment for removing land-marks has always been severe. In Deuteronomy the offence comes uext to murder and manslaughter. In the course of settling these disputes, the most solemn adjurations are entered into, and it frequently happens that the decision of doubtful cases is left to the conscience of an opponent, who walks barefooted over the ground he indicates as the boundary, with his hand on his son's head, after being sworn by a Brahmin, undergoing purification, and performing other equally binding ceremonies. We remember an instance of a boundary being broken by the consent of both parties, in consequence of the death of the arbitrator. He was supposed to have had an unjust leaning towards one party : but even the one which he befriended was anxious to avert divine vengeance . by openly disavowing any connexion with the perjuror.
When the boundary is fixed, conspicuous marks are raised at each angle. The arrangement and numbering of these constitute a very important part of this duty, which the native ameens are very apt to disregard altogether, unless strictly superintended. The boundary, when once fixed, should never be removed. We have seen the worst consequences ensue from the vacillation of an officer, in enforcing the decision of a nunchayut. The old boundary disputes which have been long ago adjusted are again raised, and cannot be allayed without prompt and decisive measures. On one occasion when a pergunnah was under survey, some villages which were held in jageer, received an enormous addition to their ruqba by several of the conterininous mouzas, throwing in a portion of their own areas into that of the jageer, in order to defraud the Government of its dues. It so happened, that within the last year these jageers lapsed to Government, and as the pergunnah settlement was concluded, the old khalisah villages claimed their respective portions of ruqba. The Collector, however, very properly refused to comply with their request, and the land which was fraudulently concealed now belongs to other villages, and the very proprietors are compelled to cultivate as asamees of the jageer village. This is, at least, retributive justice.
If the settlement were productive of no other good than the adjustment of boundaries, it would still render most important service to the community. The discord and outrages were the consequences of disputed boundaries are now happily set at rest, and the criminal convictions for affrays have decreased considerably in all those districts where the survey is progressing ; as the records of the Court will abundantly prove.
When the boundaries are all adjusted, the surveyor commences operations. The two surveys which are now under their control are very different in their character. The one is a professional survey, giving the area of estates on the gross, and showing the total amount of cultivation, the culturable, and barren land, the sites of groves, roads, houses, jheels, huts, and other conspicuous objects. This is protracted scientifically on an elegant and uniform plan, on the scale of twenty chains or one quarter of a mile to an inch...The utility of such a record is pre-eminent. It forms the ground-work of assessment which the collector appeals to in perfect confidence, as he cannot entertain any sus. picion of its correctness. The cultivation, perhaps, is generally given a little in excess, as three per cent. deducted for the gross cultivation on account of roads and paterre divisions can scarcely be considered sufficient; and the usual deduction of ten per cent. from the “culturable land ” on account of “barren waste” will frequently throw much more into the “culturable” than should properly appear. But still the general accuracy of the survey is vouched for by the concurrent testimony of all who have devoted their attention to the matter. To be sure, one or two instances have been heard of in which considerable negligence has been betrayed, in which errors of protraction, and plus vice minus off-sets have been detected. This, however, is very rare, and by its singularity only serves to render more conspicuous the general correctness of the professional returns. As these surveys proceed, their accuracy can be tested by the grand trigonometrical survey, and as whole districts are brought to completion, a satisfactory comparison of meridians can be effected by one or two triangulations. The interior professional survey is now dispensed with.
The other is the khusruh survey, exhibiting the exact position and area of each field, its fertility and capability of irrigation, its quality, number, and denomination. This is a most important record for shewing the present occupancies of the agriculturists, and for allaying many fertile sources of dispute. It is to be apprehended, however, that in the lapse of a few years many of the present field boundaries will be obliterated; not so much by subdivision on account of descent and partial transfers, as from the rotation of the crops, on which the west country agriculturists particularly pride themselves. The different system of cropping requires that the fields should be differently laid out, and the boundaries cannot be expected, particularly in fertile estates, to remain permanent.
This, however, is only a remote anticipation, and (except where the parties concerned prefer continuing their old village measurement or humdeeguree pymaish), for many years to come this khusruh will be found invaluable for fixing the rights of the occupants. The field map admits of any field being immediately identified, if it is only drawn out with sufficient care. By late orders the khusruh surveyors are directed to include the culturable waste, by which a better mutual dependence and contrast will be kept up between the two surveys. The field surveys are now carried on by contract at the rate of from fifteen annas to one rupee four annas per hundred beegas, and there is a superintendent appointed, who is to examine the work done, and satisfy himself of its accuracy wherever it is doubtful. These records are delivered to the collector, who allows the tahseeldar a certain time, not more than six weeks, within which he is to detect any errors; and wherever any charges of false measurement are made, he is personally to visit the spot, and re-measure it either by taking particular fields or going from boundary to boundary, or submitting it to any other process of verification that he may consider necessary.
This purtalling should always be done with a chain, or at least the same kind of rod or rope should be used, by which the original measurement was made. We remember a man bringing heinous charges against an ameen for false measurement, one having measured with a chain, and the other with a rope made of kujoor fibre. This latter standard, indeed, is not true to itself. One gentleman who submitted it to many trials, found a difference of about two guttahs or six yards in the length of the jureeb, between measurements made at morning and noon-day.
The amount of field measurement which may reasonably be expected from one ameen and three mirdahs in one day, is fifty pucka beegas, so that the present contract of ten or twelve annas from the surveyor, and five or six from the collector for every hundred beegas surveyed, is very cheap.
We subjoin a table showing what was accomplished last year in this department.