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          The Settlement of land and Assessment of Land revenue dates back to the Mughal period followed by the Britishers. Britishers adopted systematic and traditional methods of survey of land. After Independence there was a small unit of Settlement in Himachal Pradesh which was temporary department. After independence the Settlement operations were conducted in Tharoch, Sangri, Koti of erstwhile estates of Mahasu District, Thereafter the Settlement staff was sent to Chamba District in the year 1952. It was a First Regular Settlement in Chamba District. After completion of Settlement operation in Chamba District, Mandi District was taken in hand for Settlement operation in the year 1958 and later on after completion of Settlement operation in Mandi District, Settlement operation in Kangra District was commenced in the year, 1970. Initially, it was a temporary department and was declared as permanent department on 31-7-1970.

          The Settlement was a single unit till 1977 and thereafter it was bifurcated into two Divisions i.e. Kangra Division and Shimla Division. Kangra Division comprising Chamba, Hamirpur, Kangra, Kullu & Una districts where as Shimla Division comprising Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan, Bilaspur, Kinnaur Districts and Spiti Tehsil of District Lahaul Spiti.

About Department - Mandate of the Department

          Settlement is done under section-33 of Himachal Pradesh land Revenue Act. This section provides for two types of settlement i.e., Regular Settlement and Revised Settlement. Regular settlement is done where no record of rights is available and revised settlement is done where some record is available which requires special revision. The settlement is ordered by the State Government. The procedure for settlement is available in Punjab Settlement Manual which is also applicable in Himachal Pradesh. Settlement Department is responsible for the following:

  1. Survey of land and complete measurement of land in metric system.
  2. Preparation of revenue records.
  3. Assessment of land revenue.
About Department - Organization Setup

          There are two settlement divisions in Himachal Pradesh having its Headquarters in Shimla and Kangra respectively. At each division, following staff is available:

  1. Settlement Officer.
  2. Assistant Settlement Officer.
  3. Settlement Tehsildars.
  4. Settlement Naib Tehsildars.
  5. Kanungo Settlement.
  6. Patwari.
  7. Chainman.

          Besides above department consists of Ministerial staff.

About Department - Powers & Duties
  1. Settlement Officer:

              The Settlement Officer is the Head of the department in respect of the division and exercises full administrative control over the staff. He is responsible for achieving the target of Settlement work on year-to-year basis, also functions as Settlement Collector and decides Appeal cases of various kinds.

  2. Assistant Settlement Officer:

              The Assistant Settlement Officer is to assist the Settlement Officer in carrying out various functions of the Department. They inspect the work done by Patwaris, Kanungos, Naib Tehsildars & Tehsildars at different stages to the extent of 5%. They also do final attestation of record. As Settlement Collector they also decide Appeals filed by the aggrieved persons against the orders of Assistant Collector 1st & 2nd Grade.

  3. Tehsildar:

              Tehsildars inspect and attest 20% of work done by Patwaris and Kanungos appointed in the circle and to this extent are responsible for the same. They also decide revenue cases as Assistant Collector of the 1st and 2nd Grade.

  4. Naib Tehsildar:

              The Naib Tehsildars inspect the work of Kanungos and Patwaris working in the circle to the extent of 25%of work done by them and are also responsible for the same. Besides they also decide cases as AC-IInd grade and also attest mutations on the spot.

  5. Kanungo:

              Kanungo inspects the 100% work done by the Patwaris working under him and is duty bound to visit each Patwari once in a month for inspecting his work. He confirms the plotting on the Musavi with ink whereas the Patwari can do the plotting with pencil only. Thus he is fully responsible for the entire work done by the Patwari working under him.

  6. Patwari:

              Patwari, though lowest functionary of the department, is also most important one .He prepares the entire revenue records from Shajra Kistwar to Misal Haqiat. Patwari measures land on the ground and prepares all the prescribed record, which is checked, verified and made final by the higher officials.

  7. Chainman:

              Since Patwaris work involves actual measurement of fields on the spot and plotting them on the Musavi, Chainman is provided to assist him in taking measurement of land on the spot with the help of Jarib and Rope.

          The ministerial staff is mostly deputed in the offices and maintains records with regard to the officials/ officers working in the Department.

Settlement Procedure - The Process

          Where notification for settlement is issued by the Government the settlement staff takes over the complete record from Mohal revenue agency. New Shajra Nasab is prepared with the help of last Jamabandi and preliminary attestation of this jamabandi is conducted in presence of the general public. Thereafter khatauni is prepared . The patwari does the measurement of each khasra number and marks it with pencil on mussavi . Kanungo re-measures the land measured by patwari and marks the mussavi with ink. Settlement Naib Tehsildar does 25% inspection of each and every work done by Patwari and Settlement Tehsildar does 20% inspection. Once the measurement is over and khatauni is ready after tallying it from old record , Kanungo does his final attestation in the presence of residents. He reads every entry and issues copies of kabza kast to each and every owner. From this date people can raise objection if they want to make with in 30days to revenue officer . Revenue officer has to decide these objections and thereafter he does his final attestation in presence of people . After final attestation copies of Misal Haquiat in duplicate and khasra girdawari are prepared . Parat Patwar is deposited with the concerned Patwari and other documents are kept in settlement record rooms. At present winding up our records rooms has started. During settlement girdawari and mutation etc. are done by settlement staff only . Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars exercise the powers of AC-Ist and AC-2nd grade . Assistant Settlement Officer is Collector in his jurisdiction and Settlement Officer is Collector for all the Distts under this Division. Assistant Settlement Officer hears the revenue cases till the final attestation of the revenue village is over After this, cases are filed before Settlement Officer. Appeal from Settlement Officer lies with Divisional Commissioner and thereafter to Financial Commissioner Revenue. After completion of records the work of Assessment of land revenue starts under the direct supervision of Settlement Officer

Settlement Procedure - Types of Settlement Operations

          Ordinarily, there are four types of Settlement operations:-

  1. Summary Settlement

              This type of Settlement is resorted to a temporary measure for a short period without the help of survey equipments only a KHAKA DASTI is prepared till the regular Settlement is carried out. No presumption of truth is attached to a summary Settlement.

  2. Kanooni(Regular) Settlement

              The regular Settlement is taken up where no previous record exist. On this Settlement, the complete measurement is done with the help of survey equipments and new record-of-rights is prepared for the first time.

  3. Tarmim(Revised) Settlement

              Under this type of Settlement only amendments are carried out without resorting to any measurement.

  4. Jadid Sani(Complete revised) Settlement

              Under this type of Settlement operation complete re-measurement is carried out with the help of survey equipments keeping in view the old Shajra and record.

Settlement Procedure - Record Prepration

          We are carrying out the Second Revised Settlement and is adopting the procedure of complete re-measurement of an estate in view of the provisions contained in the H.P. Land Revenue Act and the standard of weights and measures Act,1976. The detail of the procedure adopted for carrying out the Settlement operation is as under:-

  1. Formation of an estate

              Whenever a Tehsil is taken for Settlement operations, the first duty of the Settlement officials is to make the Mohal Bandi files wherever necessary to do so. These files are sent to the Settlement Officer through proper channel for approval, who grants permission to create such estate with the approval of the Financial Commissioner (Revenue).

  2. Updation of Last Jamabandi

              After the completion of the work of Mohalbandi, old jamabandi is readout in the Jalsa Aam and any change found in the said jamabandi is recorded in Rojnamcha Fard Partal and steps are taken to in- corporate the changes in the record-of-rights.

  3. Shajra Nasab and Khatauni

              After updation of old jamabandi new khatauni and Shajra Nasab are prepared.The entries so recorded in the khatauni and Shajra Nasab are read out/attested in Jalsa Aam by the Kanungo, Settlement Naib Tehsildar and Settlement Tehsildar.

  4. Parcha Jamindari

              After preparation of the Shajra Nasab and khatauni, parcha jamindari are distributed among the tenure holders free of cost in which entry of ownership is made as per duly updated jamabandi. As and when any field is measured on the spot, the patwari enter the said khasra numbers alongwith its area.

  5. Fixation of base line and Chandabandi

              After completion of the above work viz formation of an estate, updation of jamabandi, preparation of Shajra Nasab, khatauni and distribution of parcha jamindari, field Kanungo laid down a base line is the middle of an estate on a triangular system and with the assistance of base line, he further fix and extend the control points/chandajats for the help of carrying out the measurement work on the spot.

  6. Hadbast

              After fixation of control points and Chandabandi, the Patwari measures outer boundaries of that particular estate where the Settlement operation is being carried out. The outer boundaries are checked by the Kanungo, Settlement Naib Tehsildar and Settlement Tehsildar.

  7. Survey

              After the completion of the above process the survey work is started from the North- West corner of an estate and the survey work is completed on the Sought-East corner of an estate. The survey work is checked 100% by Kanungo and than he inked the Shajra/mussavi Settlement Naib Tehsildar and Tehsildar also check the measurement and record work 25% and 20% respectively. The Assistant Settlement Officer and Settlement Officer also check the survey and record work.

  8. Preparation of record for final attestation

              After completion of the survey/measurement work, patwari do the work of additions of each field of an estate alongwith its area and the sequence of khatauni is made as per the names written in Shajra Nasab/ pedigree table. Thereafter, Kanungo read out the entries made in new khatauni and Shajra Nasab to the tenure holders and check 100% entries and all the documents attached to the record-of-rights. Similarly Settlement Naib Tehsildar and Settlement Tehsildar read out the entries of khatauni and Shajra Nasab to the extent of 25% and 20% respectively and append the certificate regarding the correctness of the entries made in the record-of-rights.

  9. Writing of Misal Haquiat

              After the completion of final attestation work, the patwari starts the work of writing of Misal Haquiat/record-of-rights. Two copies of Misal Haquiat are prepared, one is kept in District Record Room and another is handed over to the patwari Mohal. This record is checked 100% by Kanungo ,25% by S.N.T.,20% by S.T. and 5% by ASO. Every officer append his certificate regarding its correction.

  10. Preparation of Momi and Latha

              Patwari also prepares to copies of Shajra/Mussavi. One copy is made on the Momi which is kept in Tehsil office and another copy on Latha cloth which is handed over to the Patwari Mohal for Girdawari and day –to- day work.

  11. Farad Tafriq Bachh

              This is a document in which new land revenue is assessed. Patwari entered the area, ownership and possession in this document.

  12. Assessment of Land Revenue

              After the approval of the proposal of Assessment of land revenue from the Financial Commissioner(Revenue), the land revenue is fixed in each holding as per approved rate by Government.

  13. Writing and distribution of Parchabahi

              Parchabahi is a document in which entries of khatauni such as ownership, possession, rent and land revenue etc. are recorded and distributed to every land owner, tenants, mortgager etc. free of cost after announcement of the land revenue.

  14. Consignment of record

              In the end, the record is handed over to the District Administration.

Settlement Procedure - Decision Making & Supervision

          The importance of Settlement Operations in Himachal Pradesh is all the more as people are dependent on land for Agriculture and Horticulture. Besides land has got economic as well as emotional value for them. This dependence on land makes it imperative that people know about their holdings. Further, being the superior owner, it is the duty of the State to ensure that Land records are available in the shape of field maps as well as Record of Rights

          The system of preparation of Land Record dates back to the Mughal period, when Raja Todar Mull introduced it. During his brief regime around the same period, Sher Shah Suri also strengthened the system.

          The measurement of Land in old times was taken in ‘Kadam’ i.e. step which later came to be known as ‘Karam’ denoting different measure of length at different places-54, 56 and 57.5 inches. To overcome this anomaly, a uniform unit of measurement was needed and as a result, in present Settlement, Metric system has been introduced and the unit of measurement is Meter.

          The base line which was hitherto laid before carrying out measurement with the traditional ‘Shist’ is now laid with the modern equipment called Theodolite which is more accurate and time saving. More sophisticated systems like the GPS and the Total Stations are on way to make measurement more accurate and time saving.

          As for the procedure, prior to taking upon a village for Settlement Operations, old Revenue Record is taken from the Mohal Patwari. The Kanungo reads out entries of the current Jamabandi, and the Shajra Nasab before a gathering of the village landowners and after attesting the entries prepares new Shajra Nasab and Khataunis entering Khata/ Khatauni numbers. After this a base line is laid by Kanungo with the help of Theodolite by fixing three points on the spot and further Chandabandi is done by the Patwari by fixing further points with the help of the Base line to facilitate measurement of the fields. Once this process is complete, the Patwari starts the measurement of fields and plots the fields on the Musavi fixed on a Patri with the help of Shist Measurement is always started from the North –West side and the fields so measured and plotted are assigned numbers beginning from one. The lines are drawn with pencil and are confirmed with ink only after the Kanungo every Khasra Number has checked every Khasra Number.

          After the measurement is complete, other record viz Misal Haqiat, field book, Khasra index, Khasra Girdawari are prepared by the Patwari and are checked by the Kanungo to the extent of 100% and by the Naib Tehsildar, Tehsildar and the Assistant Settlement Officer to the extent of 25%, 20%, and 5% respectively. For the recording of inspections done by the superior officers, the Patwari is provided with an inspection diary called Roz namcha and the Patwari and other officers have to comply with the directions recorded therein by the superior officer in a time bound manner. It is only after the final attestation that the Record becomes ripe for issuing copies.

          In spite of the utmost care taken in preparing the records, the people are not always satisfied with measurement and the entries made in the record so prepared. If aggrieved they may apply to the Assistant Collector II Grade for correction. Further Appeal lies to the Collector, Commissioner, and Financial Commissioner (Appeals).

          The Forest Settlement Work is also undertaken in Shimla Division, in which proposals are received from Forest Department for demarcation of Undemarcated Protected Forests to get them notified as Demarcated Protected Forests by the Govt. The Forest Settlement Officer also determines the rights of people in such D.P.Fs and the same are also notified by the Govt. Forest Settlement work is done under the provisions of Indian Forest Act, 1927.

          Since over a period of time, the average yield from the land also increases, reassessment of land becomes necessary. There is a prescribed procedure for assessment of Land Revenue under the H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1953 & Assessment Rules at the time of Settlement. However the Land Revenue so assessed should not exceed by more than one-third of the current rates.

          Since Settlement Operations are target oriented, targets are fixed on year-to-year basis and staff is required to achieve those targets. Patwari is required to measure and plot 120 Khasra Nos. per month and he has to do measurement work for a minimum of 20 days in a month. When weather is not suitable for measurement work, the Patwari prepares other record. The Kanungo inspects his work once in a week and Naib Tehsildar inspects his work once in a month. The Tehsildar is required to visit a Patwari once in a quarter and inspect his work.

          The Rules regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions.

          Settlement operations are carried out under the provisions of H.P. Land Revenue Act 1953, as amended from time to time, which also contains detailed procedure to be followed in re assessment of land revenue.

          In short the following Act and Manuals are followed in carrying out settlement operations:

  1. H.P. Land Revenue Act 1953(Act no 6 of 1954) as amended from time to time.
  2. H.P. Land Revenue (Special Assessment) Rules 1986).
  3. The H.P Land Revenue (General) Assessment Rules 1984 .
  4. The H.P. Tenancy and Land Reforms Act 1972.
  5. The H.P. Tenancy and Land Reforms Rules 1975.
  6. The Punjab Settlement Manual.
  7. Land Administration Manual.
  8. Collection of Settlement Instructions 1998.

          A statement of the categories of documents that are held by it under its control during settlement and before consignment the following documents/records are kept by the department.The records / documents are as follows:

  1. Shajra Kishtwar or Field Map (Musavi)
  2. Field Book
  3. Aks Momi Shajra
  4. Latha shajra(Current Settlement)
  5. Misal Haquiat(Patwari Copy) Current Settlement
  6. Khasra Girdawari(Current)
  7. Field book(Certified copy)
  8. Mutations Register (Current)
  9. Misal Haquiat(Govt. Copy)
  10. Khatauni Bandobast(Current, along with Maps)
  11. Rojnamcha Fard Partal(Inspection Diary)
  12. Fard Tafrik Bachh
  13. Misal Tarika Bachh
  14. Index Map
  15. Parcha Bahi
Settlement Status - Shimla Settlement Division

          Settlement work in Shimla Division is in progress, since 1979, by March 2007 total numbers of 4025 villages have been measured and work completed. This covered about 1943925lakhs khasra numbers. For the present the Settlement operation in Tehsil Rohru, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Theog, Shimla Rural, Chopal, Kupvi and Junga of District Shimla, Tehsil Arki of District Solan, Tehsil Ghumarwin and Jhandutta of District Bilaspur, Tehsil Rajgarh of District Sirmour is in progress.

          In Bilaspur District 22 estates of Tehsil Sadar, 52 estates of Sri Naina Devi Ji,16 estates of Jhandutta and 20 estates of Ghumarwin, total 110 estates have been surveyed/measured and Settlement work in 11 estates of N.A.C. Ghumarwin and 2 estates of N.A.C. Jhandutta is in progress which is likely to be completed by 2008.

                                        Information of Settlement, Shimla Division :


Areas where Settlement Operations have been completed (upto 30/06/2007)
District Tehsil/Sub-Tehsil Total Revenue Villages Revenue Villages Surveyed Year of Comencement Year of Completion No. Kh. Area in Hact
Kinnaur Nichar 201 201 1977 1983 77837 117562
Kalpa 75 75 1981 1984 19524 39138
Sangla 117 117 1981 1984 25209 138786
Moorang 146 146 1983 1986 32757 173362
Pooh 80 80 1984 1986 20344 96700
Hangrang 57 57 1984 1986 11816 73772
  Total 686 686     187587 640320
Lahaul & Spiti (Spiti Division) Kaza 231 231 1975 1989 67013 718037
Shimla Rampur & N.A.C Rampur 225 225 1979 1994 169538 86775
Nankhari 102 102 1979 1993 65978 15844
Dodra Kawar 20 20 1982 1984 12317 36698
Tikkar 46 46 1979 1984 27527 7751
Chirgaon 152 152 1979 2001 118700 137867
Suni & N.A.C Suni 239 239 1986 2000 120022 24408
Nerwa 247 247 1992 2001 94244 59066
Shimla Urban 49 49 1975 2003 15093 1749
Total 1080 1080     623419 21676

Areas where Settlement Operations are in Progress(upto 30/06/2007)
District Tehsil/Sub-Tehsil Total Revenue Villages Revenue Villages Consigned Year of Comencement Settlement in Progress Pending for Survey Probable Date of Starting Probable Date of Completion
Shimla  Rohru 114 142 1979 2 -   2008
Jubbal 172 170 1986 2 -   2007
Kotkhai 252 241 1992 11 -   2007
Theog 491 483 1993 8 -   2007
Kumarsen 187 186 1986 1 -   2007
Shimla Rural 630 433 1993 156 41   2009
Chopal 216 151 2001 64 1   2007
Kupvi 91 72 2001 19 -   2007
Junga 64 - 2006 35 29   2010
Total 8847 1878   298 71     
Solan Solan 489 14 1968 to 1970 - 475 2010 2034
Kandaghat 283 11 1990 to 1994 - 272 2010 2034
Kasouli 287 6 1992 to 1997 - 281 2010 2034
KrishanGarh 296 -   - 296 2010 2034
RamShaher 241 -   - 241 2010 2034
Nalagarh 431 3 1996 to 1999 - 428 2010 2034
Arki 513 19 2003 120 374 2010 2010
Total 2540 53    120 2367    
Bilaspur Sadar 295 22 1984 to 1987 - 279 2010 2035
Naina Deviji 174 52 1984 to 1987 - 122 2010 2035
Jhandutta 280 16 1984 to 1987 2 262 2006 2035
Ghumarwin 334 20 1984 to 1987 11 303 2006 2035
Total 1083 110   13 960    
Sirmaur Nahan 148 12 1969 to 1990 - 136 2010 2025
Sangrah 77 -   - 77 2010 2025
Dadau 74 -    - 74 2010 2025
Nauradhar 48 -    - 48 2010 2025
Pajhata 71 -    - 71 2010 2025
Shillai 47 -    - 47 2010 2025
Paonta 142 10 1998 to 2006 - 132 2010 2025
Rjagrah 72 3 1998 to 2001 3 66 2006 2025
Pachhad 263 4 1979 to 1990 - 259 2010 2025
Total 942 29   3 910    

Notifications & Guidelines - Notifications
  1. Notification under section 33 of the H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1954 for carrying out the Settlement operations in a tehsil or District.
  2. Notification under section 52 of the H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1954 regarding general Assessment or.
  3. Notification under section 33 of the H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1954 regarding closing of Settlement operations.
  4. Notification under section 28 of the H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1954 regarding conferment of powers of Revenue Officers.
Notifications & Guidelines - Settlement Guidelines

          The State Government or the Financial Commissioner with the approval of the State Government may for the guidance of the Revenue Officers issue executive instructions in consistent with the provisions of the law. Further the guidelines are also contained as follows:-

  1. H.P. Land Revenue Act, 1954.
  2. Punjab Settlement Manual as applicable to the Himachal Pradesh.
  3. H.P. Land Record Manual.
  4. Menstruation.
  5. Compendium of Settlement instruction.
Official Website of The Department of Revenue, Government of Himachal Pradesh. Tel: 91-177-2623678, Email: dlr-hp@nic.in
           National Informatics Centre, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology,HP State Centre, Sixth Floor, Armsdale Building, HP Govt. Sectt., Shimla-171002, India,