Why a re-survey was necessitated
In Cochin and Malabar areas, the mutation (Pokkuvaravu/Jamathiry/Transfer of Registry) was effected in the revenue records only after surveying the new sub-division. This work fell in arrears after the independence. The village officers whose primary responsibility was the maintenance of land records were deployed for poverty alleviation schemes and hence the land records maintenance was neglected to a great extent. In the Travancore area, the transfer of registry was up-to-date to a great extent. But corresponding changes were not effected in the maps. Further in the state; various legislation towards agrarian reforms was introduced after independence. Due to the above legislations, the tenants and sharecroppers became absolute owners of the land. When these reforms were introduced on a war-footing basis, the corresponding changes were not effected in the survey records. Hence, a total re-survey of the state was required Government ordered the re-survey of the state in following Government orders.
G.O.Ms.295/66/RD REVENUE (E) DEPARTMENT Dated, Trivandrum,25th May 1966
Legal Notices in the Re-Survey
The individual notices under section 6 & 9 of the Survey & Boundaries Act were dispensed with as per the following amendment of the Survey & Boundaries Act. No. 11611/ Leg/ A1/ 86 Law (Legislation-A) Department. Now, according to Survey & Boundaries Act, there is no individual notice is required prior to the re-survey or prior to the finalisation.
Each taluk is divided into main circuits with an approximate area of 150 kms. And each main circuit is connected with the G.T Stations established by Survey of India so as to provide geographical co-ordinates to all survey points. According to present system of survey, each taluk is divided into blocks of approximately 1000 hectares. Then each block is divided into Khandom with area of 25 to 40 hectares. Each Khandom is sub-divided into Survey numbers of approximately 4 hectares in dry land and 2 hectares in wet land.
Survey of Block and Khandom
The block and Khandom boundaries are surveyed by traverse methods.
Survey of Holdings
Normally survey fields are formed by clubbing 10 to 20 holdings and with an approximate area of 2 hectares in wet land and 4 hectares in dry land. The boundaries are demarcated generally according to the physical possession as seen of ground except where they are the valid documents to prove that it has to be demarcated otherwise. But Government lands are demarcated as per the previous records so as to detect all subsequent encroachments.
Survey of Poramboke
The Government lands even if they are under unauthorized occupation, are surveyed and recorded as Poramboke.
Certain private lands, which are now being used by public for the following purposes, are surveyed as Nalathu Poramboke.
- Roads, Streets
- Thodu, Streams.
The propriety rights of these Nalathu Poramboke shall continued to be vested with the respective landowners. The roads, streets etc. are surveyed as subdivision in the sketches only if it has got more than 2 meters width. The other roads, streets etc. are shown as topodetails in the respective sub division. No tax is collected in respect of Nalathu porambokes.
Variation in Area from the Previous Settlement
In many cases there is variation in extent in the re-survey records from the previous survey and settlement records. After the finalisation and implementation of the re-survey records, Basic Tax is collected according to the area in the re-survey records and no separate pattas are required in cases of excess areas. For registration of title deeds and all other transactions, Re-survey No., subdivision number and extent should be followed.
Supply of Records
The not final records are issued to the landholders on payment from the Office of the Assistant Director of Survey & Land Records concerned. The landowners can obtain the above sketches and satisfy themselves that the boundaries are properly determined. The copies of the details of land owners recorded during re-survey in the form of field register are also available in the re-survey Office on payment.
The History of Resurvey in the State
The Kerala State consists of old Travancore State, Malabar and Kasargod areas of old Madras State and old Cochin State. The original survey of former Travancore State was conducted during the period 1883-1912 and that of Cochin area during the period 1899-1909. After that no resurvey has been conducted in these areas. In Malabar areas, though a resurvey was conducted during 1923-28, it was found necessary that the sketches in the field measurements books and other survey records had to be completely re-prepared afresh or a resurvey conducted. This is mainly due to want of systematic maintenance of land records and also due to insertions of numerous sub divisions in the original measurement sketches. Arrears had also accumulated in carrying out mutations in land records. With the introduction of metric system in land records, necessity for re-preparation of land record under that system also arose. Re-survey of the State and preparation of land records based on the existing limits of occupations would also facilitate the speedy implementation of land records and collection of agricultural statistics. Considering all these aspects, it was decided that a Resurvey of the entire State would be attempted. Accordingly the scheme "Re-survey of the State" was sanctioned in G.O. No. 78l/65/ RD dated 6-10-1965 and is being implemented from 1966-67.
The Resurvey is done under the provisions of the Survey and Boundaries Act (Act 37 of 1961). According to the provisions in the Act, individual notices are to be issued to the land holders and their objections, if any, heard and disposed of before the survey records are finalised. It was found on practice that the service of individual notices is a time consuming and laborious process, employing a large number of staff without any resultant advantage. Therefore the Board of Revenue suggested to amend the Survey and Boundaries Act as early in 1971 dispensing with the issue of individual notices. After detailed correspondence between Government and Board of Revenue for 1971-1983 and discussions at various levels, an ordinance amending section 9(2) of Survey and Boundaries Act was issued by the Government in November 1983. According to the ordinance, the decision under section 9(2) of the Act is to be published in 2 leading local dailies, the records will be exhibited at a public place like Village /Panchayat office etc. and the parties who are interested in the boundaries may verify the Re-survey records and prefer complaints about the survey, if they are aggrieved. These complaints are heard and disposed of by the officers of Survey &Land Records Department not below the rank of Superintendents before the Resurvey Records are finalised and notified under section 13 of the Act.
The Resurvey is done under the provisions of the Survey and Boundaries Act (Act 37 of 1961). According to the provisions in the Act, individual notices are to be issued to the land holders and their objections, if any, heard and disposed of before the survey records are finalised. It was found on practice that the service of individual notices is a time consuming and laborious process, employing a large number of staff without any resultant advantage. Therefore the Board of Revenue suggested to amend the Survey and Boundaries Act as early in 1971 dispensing with the issue of individual notices. After detailed correspondence between Government and Board of Revenue for 1971-1983 and discussions at various levels, an ordinance amending section 9(2) of Survey and Boundaries Act was issued by the Government in November 1983. According to the ordinance, the decision under section 9(2) of the Act is to be published in 2 leading local dailies, the records will be exhibited at a public place like Village /Panchayat office etc. and the parties who are interested in the boundaries may verify the Re-survey records and prefer complaints about the survey, if they are aggrieved. These complaints are heard and disposed of by the officers of Survey & Land Records Department not below the rank of Superintendents before the Resurvey Records are finalised and notified under section 13 of the Act.
Generally a Resurvey is followed by a re-settlement. Since basic tax has been introduced in Kerala State, no further settlement of land revenue seems necessary. The other part of the settlement work i.e. preparation of revenue registers like Basic tax, Thandaper etc. from whom land revenue is to be collected after conducting field verifications is being done by a process called "translation of resurvey records into land records". Since some of the resurvey records prepared date back to the period 1966-67, it has become necessary to update this resurvey records after conducting field verification. For attending this work 40 Special Tahsildars have been employed in 8 taluks (6 districts) since 1980. 400 Surveyors, 80 Draftsman, 40 Head Surveyor and 8 Head Draftsman from the resurvey parties have been diverted to work under the Special Tahsildars, for updating the re-survey records and preparation of land records. The equivalent posts in the resurvey scheme are kept vacant as per Government orders. From the inspection of this scheme, resurvey records of 170 villages have been handed over to the Special Tahsildars and they have completed the work in all respects only in about 100 Villages. The idea when the scheme was introduced was that each unit could complete the preparation of records of one Village within a period of 8 -1 0 months, but due to the non availability of village officers for preparation of registers, each unit on an average has completed only 2 – 3 villages so far. This item of work at district level is done under the supervision of District Collectors and the work at State level is reviewed by the Additional Secretary, Board of Revenue (L.R).
In respect of the Villages where re-survey was done, recently the resurvey records need not be updated since it generally depicts the present state of things on ground. In such cases when the resurvey records are finalised, the services of the Special Tahasildars and the staff under then can be utilised to prepare the land records such as basic tax, Thandaper etc. straight away without further field verification.
After finalising the resurvey, the land records such as F.M.B., Village /Block map, basic tax register, Thandaper register, Poramboke register etc. are to be handed over to the revenue authorities for maintaining them in village and taluk offices. At present, 2 copies of field measurements sketches and only copy of other registers are prepared. The copies of block maps are printed in the Central Survey Office. Due to the constant use of the F.M.B. in field for the work corrected with the translation of resurvey records into land records and its handling at various stages, most of the sketches in the original and duplicate field measurement books have become unfit for use. It is therefore necessary that copies of these records are to be taken for supply to the Village and Taluk offices. For taking copies of these records it was suggested to purchase continuous photo copier machines so that the machines can be installed in the respective collectorate and required copies of F.M.B., basic-tax register etc. taken under the supervision of the Deputy Directors attached to the Collectorates. While purchasing of the photo copier machine and taking copies of the records will take time, it is also suggested that the duplicate copy or the F.M.B. and the only copy of the Basic Tax Register etc. prepared may be handed over straight away to each village office though the District Collector from an appointed date soon after finalisation of Re-Survey records. When resurvey records are handed over, the previous records available in the village office will be taken back by the Collector and kept in his office. The Revenue administration from the date can be carried on in the respective villages based on the resurvey records. This will help to bring the resurvey records up to date by incorporating the subsequent changes in them. As and when the photo copier machines are purchased the records of each village can be brought to the Collectorate and copies taken for supply to Village and Taluk Offices.
Generally after re-survey and resettlement land holders are issued a patta showing the details of lands under each land holder. It is suggested that the patta to the land holder can be issued as and when resurvey records of each village is finalised and handed over to revenue administration. It is learnt that in the neighbouring Tamilnadu State, a similar system has been introduced after formulating necessary legislation in the matter. A similar legal system of issuing patta pass books has been introduced in Gujarat State also. It is therefore suggested that when resurvey is finalised and the resurvey records given effect to in each village for revenue administration, a patta pass book showing all the details about the land can be issued to the land holders of this State also after enacting necessary legislation in this regard.
The very purpose of conducting the resurvey is to prepare a land records showing the existing limits of each land holding including the persons for whom certificate of purchase, conferment of title like Kudikidappu, Kudiyiruppu etc. under the land reforms Act was made. It may therefore be seen that the land reforms in its real sense can be said to be complete only after a statutory land records for all the persons benefited by the land reforms is prepared. Apart this preparation of land records and issue of a Patta Pass Book could also help the weaker section of society to possess a legal document in support of the lands under their possession, who are not capable of documentation.
The following are the basic records prepared on completion of Resurvey of a village/Panchayat:
- Field measurement sketches showing the measurements of each holding including Government lands with necessary data to rely the boundary on ground as and when required. The scale of the sketch is 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000 and 1/5000 according to the extent of holding.
- Land register/Field register showing the name of present land holder extent, classification, nature of previous land holder, corresponding old survey /sub division number, details of main crops raised in the land etc.
- The combined map of each block of about 1000 hectares in extent formed within Village / Panchayat following natural boundaries as far as possible, thus 3 Revenue Village may consists of 1 or more of such blocks (scale 1/5000).