District Revenue Office, Sitamarhi

Additional Collector

 
 
Shivdani Singh
Contact No. -  06226-250267
 

 Land Revenue

The first assessment of land revenue in Tirhut Division was made in 1582 by Raja Todarmal, one of the Navaratna (Nine jewels) of Mughal Emperor Akbar. An area of 81,737 acres was settled at a revenue of Rs. 1,163,020. Subsequently during the reign of Aurangzeb in 1685 the above assessment was raised to Rs. 1,798,576. In year 1750 during the period of Nawab Alivardi Khan of Bengal, the land revenue assessment was reduced to Rs. 1,648,142.

From the Farman of Aurangzeb, issued in thirteenth year of his reign, it appears Tirhut included 102 Mahals. From the same Farman it appears that the Mughal revenue administration has conferred the office of Kanungo for the whole Suba (state) of Bihar on three persons only. They used to collect the revenue of the whole Suba and receive 8 annas per hundred rupees as remuneration beside ‘dastur’ and ‘nankar’. A subsequent Farman issued in 1783-84 by Shah Alam confirmed the descendants of the above three persons in the office of Kanungo for the whole of Bihar on the same terms and conditions.

By the Diwani Grant of 1765 the right of collecting evenue in Bengal, Bihar and orissa was transferred to the Eas India Company. But actually collection continued to be in the hands of the Nawab’s office. The East India Company appointed Raja Sitab Roy  to supervise the revenue collections in Bihar. The dual control resulted in confusion and apprehension to tenure-holders. Hence, in 1769 European supervisors were appointed. In 1770, a revenue council was established in Patna, and it was decided to transfer the control of revenue collections to the servant of East India Company. Accordingly, in the year 1771 a European Collector was appointed in Tirhut for the first time. But this experiment failed and in 1772 European agency was replaced by Indian amils under the control of a Provincial Council at Patna and quinquennial settlement of land was made. This experiment also failed. Hence annual settlement was made from 1778 to 1780. But this system also failed and Tirhut was placed under a European Collector, Francois Grand in 1782.Annaul settlement of land continued till 1789. During this period, the collector had to face immense difficulties both in the matters of settling revenue and realising it. In the year 1783, the board of revenue at Calcutta deputed Mr. John Shore to Patna for effecting a new settlement of the province of Bihar. The Collector of Tirhut was accordingly asked to prepare a Jama Wasul Baky of the ‘mahals’ of his district.In May 1789, the Governor-General in Council resolved to carry out the orders of the Court of Directors for a new settlement of Bihar for ten years, which if approved by the Court, would become permanent without any further change or modification. The Zama which each Zamindar was to pay, was to be fixed by the Collector on fair and equitable principles. Though systematic efforts were made in this regard, the decennial settlement was concluded more hastily which resulted in sixty percent of the total area escaping the settlement when permanent settlement was effected in 1793. The total land revenue fixed was Rs. 983,642 out of which Rs. 436,000 represented the demand of the old district of Muzaffarpur. Subsequently efforts were made to cover up the unassessed land by resumption of revenue-free grants.

Efforts were also made to up-to-date the Revenue records and consolidate the Permanent settlement. The Revenue Sales Act of 1850, the Land Registration Act 1876, and the Estates Partition Act of 1876 were enacted.The implementation and enforcement of provisions of these Acts enabled the British Government to prepare Revenue Rolls and  other details of proprietors of Revenue-paying and Revenue-free estates on scientific lines.

Land Reforms

Before the enactment of Land Reforms Act, 1950 there were, thus, three categories of estates in the district of Muzaffarpur –

a)      Revenue-paying Estates -- 25,575 in number yielding a total revenue of Rs. 958,539-12-3

b)      Revenue-free Estates

c)      Government Khas Mahal -- 52 in number yielding a total revenue of Rs. 97,792-10-4 

In 1938, the Government of Bengal appointed a Revenue Commission to examine the existing land revenue system with particular reference to the permanent settlement. The report was submitted in 1940. The report pointed serious defects of Zamindari system and recommended its abolition and replacement of the same by the Raiyatwari system for improving the economic condition of the cultivators. Various laws such as Bengal Tenancy Act, the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, Bakast Dispute Settlement Act 1947, the Bihar State Management of Estates Bill, 1947 and Bihar State Acquisition of Zamindari Bill,1947 were enacted. The State Government later decided to take over the entire Zamindaris. Under the provisions of section 3(b) of the Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1950 all the estate and all the tenures had passed to and become vested in the State with effect from the 26th January, 1955.The takeover of Zamindari which began in 1952, finally completed in 1956. At the time of vesting of Zamindari into the State there were 12,102 proprietors, tenure-holders and under tenure-holders in the district of Sitamarhi (then a subdivision) with a collectable rental demand of Rs. 8,11,083.16 only.

 
 
 
       
       
       
       
 
 

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Last Updated on 24-09-2009

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