Bargarh district is created on bifurcation from the parent Sambalpur District w.e.f. 1.04.1993. Collector, Bargarh is also designated as the District Magistrate and is thus the highest authority in the district for maintenance of law and order. Although the officials of other department in the district are under the immediate charge of their respective Heads of Departments, the Collector exercises general supervision over them in regard to quantum and efficiency of their non technical work. He can also call assistance of any officer in the district. In case of any difference of opinion between a district officer and the Collector in regards to non- technical matter connected with the execution of a work, the decision of the Collector prevails. Co-ordination of the activities of various department by constant contact with the official concerned , control over local- self governing body, contact with the public in committee , execution of Govt. policy and miscellaneous function such as rationing and food control and relief measure at the time of emergency like flood, epidemic etc. , are all included among the function of the Collector.As the Collector, he is the head of the land revenue administration at the district level. His major duties includes general supervision and control of land records and staff of the revenue department, supervision over the collection of revenue and hearing of appeals and revision against the decision of his sub-ordinates officers in the matter connected with land revenue. In the administration of land revenue, he is assisted by a hierarchy of officials of both gazette and non-gazetted status.
In recent year planning and development activities have assumed increasing importance in the field of Public Administration. The Collector as the Chief District Officer is responsible for the implementation of various developmental plans at the District level. The major developmental activities comprise agriculture and animal husbandry, irrigation, health and rural sanitation, education, social education, communication, rural arts & crafts, industries, tribal & rural welfare. Thus it may be seen that in the developmental field, the duties of the Collector are wide and he plays a vital and all-embracing role.
For the Administration of developmental activities, the District is divided into Blocks and Panchayats and the developmental Scheme are implemented through a set of officers called Block Development Officer who are each in charge of a Block. The B.D.O is assisted by Ministerial Staff and other various technical officers from different departments. The V.L.W is the lowest officer at the village level.
With the enforcement of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, the developmental administration of the district has been decentralized into three district tiers i.e. the Zilla Parishad at the District level, the Panchayat Samiti at the Block level and the Gram Panchayat at the village level with an elected body of member at each level. The District Development Advisory Board is formed which constituted of both officials and non-officials members.
With regard to superintendence and control of the administrative function, the Collector is under the Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Northern Division, Sambalpur.
With the growing complexity of administration and growth of development works the post of Additional District Magistrate has been created vesting with him the powers of a District Magistrate under the code of criminal procedure. Besides, the Collector is assisted by 2 Deputy Collectors and 4 Assistant Collector who constituted the sanctioned strength of Revenue Officers for the District Head quarter. The district office of the Collector is divided into component section like Revenue, Touzi, Nizarat, Establishment, Land Acquisition, Development, G & M, Record Room, Tribal welfare, Social Welfare etc. Most of the sections of the district office are manned by Revenue Officers appointed by the Government who are to be in charge of particular sections subject to the overall control of the Collector. The functions of these officers are to assist the Collector in taking decisions and the efficient discharge of various administrative functions by making adequate check and scrutiny on papers and proposals sent to Government.
The Collector is in charge of public relations and is assisted by a District Information & Public Relations Officer appointed by the government in I & PR Department. Similarly in respect of supply of food grains and other essential commodities he is assisted by the Civil Supplies Officer who is an officer of the supply Department. For Grama panchyats, he is assisted by the District Panchyat Officer. The District Welfare Officer belongs to the SC & ST Welfare Department helps the Collector in Tribal Welfare activities. The Additional District Magistrate is the ex-officio District Registrar and is vested with necessary powers under the Registration Act. He is relieved of daily registration work by the district Sub-Registrar who remains in charge of this and other routine duties.
The District Treasury is managed by an officer belonging to the senior branch of Orissa Finance Service and is controlled by the Collector.
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the pre-separation period who used to combine both executive and judicial functions is now designated as Sub-Collector & Sub-Divisional Magistrate, with adequate power over police for maintenance of law and order and for trying cases under preventive sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Sub-Divisional Level Administration:–
For the purposes of general administration, the district is divided into two Sub-Divisions with headquarters at Bargarh and Padampur.
Prior to 1905, Bargarh sub-division was a part of present Madhya Pradesh (then central provinces). In 1912, with the formation of the province of Bihar & Orissa, the Bargarh Sub-Division was transferred to the new province. From 1st July, 1969 the new Sub-Division, Padampur has been constituted comprising the areas of Bijepur, Gaisilet, Jagdalpur, Melchchamunda, Padmapur, Paikmal & Sohela Police Station of old Bargarh Sub-Division.
One officer belonging to the Odisha Administrative Service acts as the Sub-Collector & Sub-Divisional magistrate for this sub-division. The Sub-Collector , besides his normal work also looks to the revenue cases, certificate cases and encroachment cases. There are two Assistant Collector functioning as Revenue Officer and Nizarat Officer. Besides, there are six officers of Odisha Administrative Services functioning as Tahasildar at Attabira, Bargarh, Bheden,Bhatli, Ambabhona & Barpali Tahasil . The Tahasildar, Barpali, Bargrh, Bheden & Bhatali are assisted by Addl. Tahasildar who are from Odisha Revenue Service cadre. The Tahasildar & Addl. Tahasildars of these Tahasil are assisted by 12 Revenue Supervisor, 74 R.I.s, 67 A.R.I.s, 92 Amins,10 Chainmen in the collection of land revenue arrears and cesses and in detection of encroachment cases. They also make revenue and miscellaneous enquiries.
The sub-division has been covered by 6 Blocks, viz- Attabira, Bargarh, Bheden, Barpali, Bhatli & Ambabhona.
One officer of the Odisha Administrative Services is functioning as Sub-Collector & Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Padampur. There are two Assistant Collector functioning as Revenue Officer and Nizarat Officer. Besides, there are six officers of Odisha Administrative Services functioning as Tahasildar at Sohela, Bijepur, Padampur, Gaisilet, Paikmal & JharbandhTahasil . The Tahasildar, Sohela is assisted by Addl. Tahasildar who is from Odisha Revenue Service cadre. The Tahasildar & Addl. Tahasildars of these Tahasils are assisted by 06 Revenue Supervisors, 19 R.I.s, 17 A.R.I.s, 31 Amins and 9 chainmen in the collection of land revenue arrears and cess and in detection of encroachment cases. They also make revenue and miscellaneous enquiries.
Other District Offices
There are a number of officers functioning in Bargarh at the district level. They are under the administrative control of their respective Heads of Departments at the State Level. Their functions have been dealt with in other chapters. The chief officers functioning at the district level are as follows:-
1. Commercial Tax Officer.
2. District Agricultural Officer
3. District Health officer
4. District Industries Officer
5. Executive Engineer (Rural works Division)
6. Executive Engineer(PWD)
7. Executive Engineer(RWSS)
8. District Labour Officer
9. Superintendent of Police
10. District Registrar of Co-Operative Societies
11. District Employment Officer
12. Superintendent of Excise
This District was created with effect from 1.04.1993 being carved out from un-divided Sambalpur District having an Geographical area of 5834.0 Sq.K.M.. Bargarh, the Rice Bowl of Odisha get irrigation through canal system of Hirakud Dam project to four Blocks of the District namely Attabira, Bargarh, Bheden & Barpali There are two Sub-Divisions namely Bargarh and Padampur, with twelve Tahasils i.e. Attabira, Bargarh, Bheden, Barpali, Bhatali, Sohela, Padampur, Paikmal, Bijepur, Gaisilet, Ambabhona and Jharbandh. The total population of this district as per 2011 census is 14,78,833 out of which 7,48,332 are male and 7,30,501 are female.
The Land Revenue System
During the early days immediately after the territory was transferred to the Orissa Division of Bengal in 1860. The Bengal Rent Act of 1860 was made applicable to the area. Since the area come under the jurisdiction of the central provinces the successive land revenue and tenancy laws of the central provinces enacted subsequent to the year 1862 i.e. the year of its transfer to the central provinces. The central provinces Land Revenue act of 1881 and the central provinces tenancy Act of 1898 although subsequently repealed in the central provinces, are in force in areas of the district. For the purpose of land revenue administration undivided Sambalpur District can be continently divided into two tracts namely the Khalsa and the Zamindaris. The term khalsa is used to indicate the land held directly from government. It includes land not belonging to Zamandari as well as land not forming a part of Govt. reserved forest. The biggest village of the district is Kumbhari which is situated in the Bargarh Sub-Division. From the earliest Government records and Settlement Reports it is found that besides Zamindars, there were 5 classes of proprietors in the Khalsa area as given below with varying degrees of proprietary interest.
(i) The Gountias
The Gountias were the most predominant and a peculiar class of proprietors. They were the village head-men in the Khalsa area. The Gountia were responsible for the payment of a lump-sum assessment on the village for a period of years according to a lease which was periodically revised and renewed. When the undivided district came under British administration, a number of short term settlements were made. Soon after the transfer to the Central Provinces, a proclamation was issued in 1862 notifying that proprietary rights would be conferred on all Gountias who on enquiry might be found entitled to it and that all gountias on whom such proprietary rights might be conferred would be owners of their villages and would have a heritable and transferable right in them. But subsequently the policy was changed and by the time the first regular settlement was undertaken, it was decided not to give full proprietary rights to the Gountias but make them proprietors only in respect of their Bhogra or home-farm land, since then, the right habitually exercised by Gountia and sanctioned by the ordinary practice of Civil Court were as follows:-
(i) Proprietorship over and free right of alienation of home farm
(ii) Right of management (including collection of rent and payment of government revenue) over the whole village and undistributed possession of it so long as the Government revenue was fully and promptly paid; and
(iii) Right of alienation of the whole village or of a share in it if accompanied by a transfer of the home-farm land.
The amout of assessment was recovered from the village cultivators and the remuneration of the Gountia consisted in undistributed enjoyment of home-farm, i.e., Bhogra lands free of revenue ( or cash in lieu thereof) equivalent to only 25 percent of the rents paid by raiyats. Thus when the rental value of the home-farm or Bhogra land exceeded this limit of concession, the Gojntia had to pay Zapti or excess valuation and when, on the other hand, the same was less than 25 percent of the raiyati rental of the village, he received puraskar or cash drawn back from the Government. The head-men were occasionally ejected for default in the payment of revenue; and the grant of new lease was often made an opportunity for imposing fee (Nazarana) which the gountia paid in a great part form his own profits and did not recover the same from the cultivators. The defaulting gountia did hardly hesitate to pay the Nazarana, however, exorbitant, because the Gountiai was not only a source of income but it is also meant a great social prestige which he could never afford to lost. The cultivators, however, were ejected for default in the payment of revenue although they rendered a variety of services to the gountia commonly known as Bethi Begari.
(ii) The Malguzars
The malguzars were full proprietors in village held by them. They were like ordinary proprietors of Bengal holding lands on temporary settlement. A large number of Malguzari villages were, however, revenue-free. Tracing the history of this tenure, L.S.S.O’ Malley has observed. “Malguzars of Sambalpur consist of certain estate-holders who, for services rendered to the native rulers or to the British Government held their estates revenue-free, or paid only nominal quit-rents”. Though the legal status of the Gountia in the Khalsa area was entirely different from that of a malguzar, the practical differences were not very great. In some ways the malguzar was in a more advantageous position that the Gountia . The former as proprietor of his waste land might sell timber growing on it but a gountia could not do so because he was only a trustee on behalf of the Government responsible to ensure that the village forest were used for community needs. The assessment paid by a gountia was also higher than that of a Malguzar. The malguzar had to pay from 45 to 60 percent of the total valuation of his village whereas the Gountia received in revenue-free home-farm land or in cash only 25 percent of the rent paid by the raiyats. In villages held be gountia under them they had, so long as the gountia rights intervened, only a latent proprietary interest and it was decided by an order passed in 1904 that the gountia should pay the usual cesses on their home-farm valuations and that the Malguzars should make up the difference between this and the government demand out of their own pockets.
Just as there were in proprietary villages superior and inferior proprietors, so also there were superior and inferior Gountias in Khalsa Gountia villages, the letter being commonly known as Sikmi Gountias. The rights of the sikmi Gountias were exactly the same as those of ordinary Gountias, except that they paid their village assessment to the superior Goutia instead of to the Government and that in addition to Government demand the Sikmi gountia had also to pay the Gountia a Malikana, that is, a sum representing a share in the cultivating profits of the home-farm lands. In a large number of Khalsa villages dual rights of gountiaship were exercised, and in all cases it was the inferior or Sikmi gountia who functioned as the real village manager and discharged the primary responsibilities of rent collection. Yet the superior Gountia was legally accountable to the government for prompt and timely payment of assessment in full. The position of the sikmi gountia in malguzari villages was the same as that of gountia in Khalsa village. In the former case the malguzar represented the position of the government.
(iii) Bhogra Bhogis
The tenure called Bhogra-Bhogi refered to proprietary right exercised in small parcels of land and not in entire villages. It has been pointed out earlier that Malguzars were proprietors of whole villages and for all practical purposes Gountia were also proprietors of whole villages. The history of the Bhogra-Bhagi tenure is that at the private partition of a Kha’sa village among various branches of a gountia family, the senior members divided among themselves the principal part of the home-farm land and took over the entire management of the village. The junior members of the family, however, did not desire to take the trouble of managing the village. They were satisfied with plots of home-farm land which fell to their share and relinquished all claim over the village management. On the other hand, the senior co-shares retaining right over the village management relinquished all the rights to interfere in the disposal of the Bhogra-Bhogi lands. The Bhogra-Bhogis, therefore, exercised unimpeded right of enjoyment of the parcels of land allotted to them and the transfer of such plots was freely and frequently resorted to. The Bhogra-Bhogis did not pay anything towards the village assessment except a share of the Zapti or excess assessment on the home-farm land where the rental value of such lands was more than 25 per cent of the raiyati rental of the village.
Brahmottar lands consisted of plots granted in perpetuity to Brahamins and others. The tenure was a proprietary one and the holders were entitled, on the resumption of the revenue, to have a proprietary sub-settlement made with them. These lands cannot be treated as Malik Makbuzas or Bhogra-bhogis because every tenant holding from them became by the payment of rents occupancy tenant whereas the proprietors of the Bhogra-bhogi or malik Makbuza plots could sub-let without creating occupancy rights. The person holding Brahmottar had no privilege of village home-farm. The Brahmottar lands which consisted of small plots granted in perpetuity to Brahmins were too many in the district. This tenure was created in recognition of the services rendered by the Brahmins for religious duties performed by them or for the spiritual uplift of the ruler or the society in general.
The Zamindaris were tracts held by proprietors having feudal status centirely different from that of Zamindars in the rest of the Centrl Provinces. The zamindari of Borsambar was the larget having a total area of 841 square miles where as patkulunda was the smallest with an area of only 6 square miles. The revenue history of the zamindaris goes back to ancient time when the Gonds and Binjhals were the ruling chiefs . But what ever their origin may have been, it appears that before the area came under direct British administration, while it was under the rule of the Rajas of Sambalpur, the Zamindaries were service tenure held on payment of a small tribute called Takoli subject ot he condition that the properitors were bound to render military service when required. During the revolution of Surendra Sai from 1857 to 1862 Zamindars namely Ghess, Paharsirgida, Patkulunda, Bheden & Mandomahuly were confiscated in consequence of their proprietors having joined in the revolt; but late on, they were restored to their respective proprietors on the eve of proclamation of amnesty in 1859.
When the settlement of 1876 was undertaken it was decided that the circumstances of each estate should be considered separately and the assessment of each fixed with regard to its previous history and the then existing conditions. A summery enquiry was accordingly made into the circumstances of each Zamindari, and its payment to Government were revised and readjusted. But at the time no sanands were given, because it was contended by the Chief Commissioner that it was desirable to make detailed enquiries into subordinate rights existing in these estates and in the absence of such enquiries it was not possible to define the relation of the Zamindars with their gountias and raiyats. At the settlement of 1885-89 the assessment was based on existing assets, and the Zamindars were at full liberty to extract what they could in the way of rent enhancement from their tenants till the subsequent settlement, by which time it was expected that the resurvey in progress would be completed. It was also held that no sanand should be given , but that a Wazib-ul-Urz or village administration paper would be framed in two parts, the first defining the Zamindars right and liabilities as against Government, and the second the relations between himself and his tenants.
(ii) The Thekadars
The most important feature in the Zamindari was the intermediate status of Thekadars. The Thekadar had the right to collect rent from the tenants of village, manage the village and enjoy the Sir(home farm) land of the village. His liability was to pay the Thekajama( which was equal to the entire assessment of the villge) to the Zamindar in time. There were two kinds of Thekadars, namely ordinary Thekadars and protectd Thekadars. Though the Thekadar was liable to pay the total rent he was entitled to collect from the village, he made lrge profit form the sir lands. As a matter of fact, the Sir lands were the most valuable lands in the village. It was, therefore, arecognised cusom in the Zamindaris that on each renewal of Theka lease, the Thekadars was called upon to pay a considerable su of Nazarana, the amount fo which generally varied according to the value of the Sir land. This system led to much abuse and some of the Zamindars enhanced the Nazarana very excessively which resulted in may aboriginal Thekadars being ousted freely in favour of rich Hindu bidders. In 1888, legislative action was, therefore, taken to protect the Thekadars and protection was granted to all who could prove long possession and fair improvement of the village to their credit. The tenure of a protected Thekadar was made heritable but not transferable. Such Thekadars were not liable to ejeetment for more non-payment of Thekajama. Though the provision made in Central Provinces Land Revenue Act of 1881 dealt with protection of Thekadars in a summary manner and left scope for considerable dispute between the Thekadars and the Zamindar, yet the system worked more or less satisfactorily.
The tenure of protected Thekadars was impartible. It used to devolve only on one member of the Thekadar’s family. In practice, however, the home-farm land used to be divided among all members of the Thekadar’s family. These Thekadars were liable to pay the assessment in respect of Sir lands in their possession. Usually disputes arose over the appointment of assessment and the Thekadars as well as share holders used to apply to the Deputy Commissioner for an order of appointment, but such applications were invariably rejected on the ground that there was no provision for such appointment in the Central Provinces Land Revenue act of 1881. This created a very difficult situation and resulted in frequent quarrels among the Thekadars and the share holders and ultimately led to situations similar to those obtaining in the Gounti villages. As a result of these frictions, it was the tenant who had to suffer ultimately and there was no end of incessant litigations and consequent mismanagement of the village and its land.
The Central Provinces Tenancy Act of 1898 defines that with the exception of tenants in possession of service holdings as well as such servants of Zamindars who held land in return for a variety of service, all tenants who were not sub-tenants had right of occupancy in their holdings. The occupancy right of tenants was also recognized under section 44 of the C.P. Tenancy Act for every tenant who on the first day of 1884 held land continuously for twelve years. The Tnancy Act envisaged two types of occupancy tenants besides village service tenants, ordinary tenants and sub-tenants. In Bargarh , howeve there was only one class of occupancy tenants who were called ordinary occupancy tenants. The occupancy right was heritable and descended to heirs like any other property subject to the statutory restriction against transfer, so long s the rent was paid and the land was not diverted to non-agriculatural purposes. Till recently occupancy right was transferable only under the following two circumstances namely:-
(i) A tenant might sub-let his land for a period not exceeding one year; and
(ii) He might transfer his right of occupancy to any person who, if he survives the original tenant, should inherit the right of occupancy or to any person in favour of whom as a co-sharer the right of occupancy ordinarily arose or who had become by succession a co-sharer therein.
Any contravention of the above provision was not void but voidable at the instance of any such person as would be entitled to inherit his right in the holding in the event of his death without nearer heirs or of the landlord form whom the tenant held the land on application to revenue officer made within two years from the date on which in pursuance of the transfer the tenant parted with the possession which in pursuance of the transfer the tenant parted with the possession of land. In spite of these restriction which prima facie appear very rigid transfers use to be freely made by indirect method of surrender to the landlord that is Gountia, Thekadar and resettlement by him with the transferee. Obviously this method directly benefited the landlord at the cost of the tenant. The landlord used to charge about 25 per cent or sometimes more of the consideration money as premium for becoming a party of the questionable process of getting the transfer effective. Mr. Dewar who was the Settlement Officer at Sambalpur in 1904-1908 had sufficient knowledge of this undesirable practice inherent in the provisions of the law regarding restriction on transfer of occupancy rights which was the only marketable property of an agriculturist and opined that if the intention was to prevent the lands being concentrated in the hands of many landlords, exploiters and speculators. Khan Bahadur Mohammed Hamid, the Settlement Officer of Sambalpur during the year 1925-1928, also made a similar observation. He remarked that the only person who was benefited by this provision of law was the landlord who generally managed to secure a heavy premium ranging about 25 per cent of the consideration money on every transfer made by the tenant. This was the greatest complaint by the tenants of this area.
About 25 per cent of the tenants of the district were occupancy tenants who were thus put to immense difficulty that was inherent in the statutory restrictions regarding the transfer of their property. This is the reason why in this district, where there was lot of scope for extension of agriculture and where the standard of cultivation was generally high, the tenant did not feel encouraged to invest all he could in the extension of cultivation. In consideration of these obvious short-comings, the State government had to enact an amendment in the year 1953 to the C.P. Tenancy Act of 1898 in pursuance of which the occupancy tenants got a free right to transfer their lands.
An occupancy tenat could be ejected from his holding for non payment of rent. This was too severe a provision which very much reduced the security of the tenure. The tenants in this district used to maintain rent receipt books in the prescribed form in two parts of which the first part showed particulars of demand and the second part particulars of collection. Entries in these books used to be made by the circle Patwari, a hereditary Government servant responsible for collecting revenue; and the revenue officers were required to inspect the book maintained by each tenant during their general inspection of the village. This system helped the tenants to some extent in keeping documentary evidence against any false allegation that rent had not been paid by them. According to the provisions of the settlement Wazib-ul-urz each cultivator was entitled to house site free of rent and when he abandoned the holding, he lost his right over the site in the village.
As regards the village servants, it has been aptly remarked by Khan Bahadur Mohammed Hamid in his Settlement Report that “ they are merely village service holders and it is dignifying their position unduly to qualify the them as village service tenants”. They enjoy land inlieu of rendering service to the community. It naturally follows, therefore that if for any reason a person ceases to render service, he loses the land. There are the following classes of village service tenants in the district namely.
1. Jhankar ( A priest-cum-Watchman)
2. Ganda (Watchman)
3. Nariha (Water carrier)
4. Negi (Clerk)
5. Kumbhar (Potter)
6. Lohar (Smith)
7. Bhandari( Barber)
8. Dhoba (Washer-man)
The Jhankars do not belongs to any particular caste. They worship village deity generally known as Samalai. Besides, they also worship deities called Mauli, Gramapati and Budima. Most of the service holding, however , were in the possession of village watchmen, namely, the Jhankar and Ganda who use to hold land on a concessional term. The land held by them was exempted by the Government from assessment upto the maximum valuation of 1/8th of the rayati rental paid by the village .
Survey and Settlement
The importance of Revenue Administration was recognized as early as in 1772 when Warren Hastings established the system of an elaborate district administration to be manned by the Company’s Civil Servants. Land Revenue was then regarded as the most important source of income for the State, because in those days trade and commerce did not make much head-way. Since India is an agricultural country, most people depend upon land for their livelihood and as such there is a close affinity between the land and the people. Even today in spite of industrial development and various measures of taxation, land revenue has hitherto held the pride of place since early British period. Whatever land revenue is regarded whether as a tax upon agricultural income or as a mere charge for the privilege of cultivation under the protection and facilities afforded by the State, it has broadly come to mean an acreage rate. Under any progressive system of revenue administration, land revenue is supposed to bear definite relation with the productive capacity or income from land. As land revenue is an acreage rate, its proper assessment is dependent on accurate measurement or survey of the surface of the land so as to give actual area under cultivation or in possession of individual tanants. Survey is also necessary for the determination of the areas of land likely to be cultivated in future as well as for the determination of areas which may not be cultivated but are reserved for other purposes. This fact has always been recognized , though of course, with varying emphasis from time to time depending on the pattern of prevailing land revenue administration.
Just as the pattern of land revenue administration is not the same throughout the state because different parts originally formed parts of different administrative units, so also the matter relating to survey Settlement and land records are not uniform throughout the state for the same reason. Sambalpur which was a district of Centrl Provinces upto 1905 was cadastrally surveyed and settled between the year 1904-1908. After the death of Raja Narayan Singh in 1849 when the tract escheated to the British Government, a hasty revenue settlement appears to have been made only to be followed by a second one in 1854. These settlement were rather perfunctory in nature and there were considerable shortcoming in the operations. No papers about these settlement are at present traceable. Since these settlements were not upto to expectation, in the field session of 1862-63 the usual measurement operation for a regular revenue settlement was taken up by Mr. Russell, the then settlement officer, who observed that filed survey was rather a very distasteful operation to the people who had the apprehension that as a result of which survey the inevitable result would be an enhancement in land revenue. Sambalpur was then settling down after the rise and punishment of the then rebel leader Surendra Sai and his followers; and as such it ws considered advisable for political reasons to suspend the settlement operation for the time being. Hence although by the end of February 1864 the demarcation fo the village in Khalsa area had already been completed, an order was issued by the Chief Commissioner to suspend the normal activities of revenue settlement but to confine the operation only to the adjudication of disputes pertaining to the proprietary rights and also to the demarcation of the boundaries when required.
After comparative easing of political tension, the Government of India in 1872 once again decided to undertake a settlement operation in the district on the basis of a fixed quantity of seed sown. No boundary or filed survey was attempted. Only Khasras or Registers of filed showing each plot with the name and particulars of cultivators, the kind of land according to the seed measure, the extent of land, the nature of crop raised together with remarks about irrigational facilities etc, were prepared. The appraisement of fields in accordance with this procedure was completed in July 1873 in the Khalsa area. It is pertinent to note than no such operation was made for the Zamindari areas except in the Zamindries of Chandrapur and Padampur. So far as these zamindaries were concerned, it was on the basis of natural history and existing conditions that Kabuliyats were taken from the Zamindar is binding them to pay fixed assessment for the period of settlement. Mt. Russell’s settlement was for a period of 12 years from the 1st July 1876 to the 20th June 1888. In 1884, traverse survey was done by the Imperial Survey Department and subsequently cadastral survey on the basis of traverse plots was completed in the year 1888-89 through the agency of patwaris. Protected status was given in deserving cases at Nethersols settlement which expired on the 13th June 1902 in the Khalsa portion of Bargarh and Padampur and on the 13th June 1903 in the Khalsa porition of Sambalpur. Immediately on the close of Mr. Nethersol’s settlement steps were taken to extend the settlement operation to the Zamindari villages. Mr. Dewar joined as Settlmetn Officer in 1902. The term of the Dewar’s Settlement expied on the 13th June 1925 in the entire district except six zamandari of Borasambar, Bijepur, Rampur, Kolabira, Rajpur and Garhlosing. Ion these six zamindaris the term of settlement expired on the 30th June 1926, that is one year after it ceased to operate in other parts of the district. Mr Mc. Pherson was the Settlement officer for a period of only 9 months after whom Khan Bahadur Mohammed Hamid took over the charge in July 1922 and remained in office till the close of settlement operation in February 1926. Mr. Hamid settlement has been made current for a period of 20 years commencing form the 1st July 1926. It was the longest settlement. Thus it will be seen that on the eve of independence there was an imperative need for fresh settlement operation. Besides , after abolition of Zamindaries and part time collecting agents the administration came in close contact with the cultivators. It was thus realized that without a proper and uptodate record of rights and settlement it was not possible to conduct the day-to-day revenue administration.
In Orissa, a regular settlement was an urgent necessity also because of wide disparity in rates of rent. There were also other anomalies. The state Government, therefore, decided that as an emergent measure the existing rent should be standardized to a certain level and the Orissa Standardization of Rent Bill of 1958 was introduced in the State Legislative Assembly. But no reconsideration, the Government felt that with so much of anomaly in the rental structure standardization of rent only by imposing certain percentage as enhancement on existing rents with marginal adjustments would not remove these shortcomings. On the other hand, this would be a source of perpetual dispute among the people and a great administrative embarrassment to the government. Hence, the Government decided that the Bill should be dropped and a prgoramme for taking up survey, preparation of record of rights and settlement of rent throughout the state should be drawn up and implemented as early as possible. Accordingly in 1958, Orissa Survey and Settlement Act was passed and it was further amended in 1962 in order to eliminate certain glaring defects and make the settlement operations will more satisfactory and smooth. In pursuance of the provisions of these new enactments, a settlement operation was undertaken in the Sambalpur and Bargarh Subdivisions of the mother district Sambalpur since 1961.
The tradition of rent-settlement in ex-central provinces was according to soil unit system. But during the current settlement this system was not felt scientific as this did not take into consideration the situation of the land, facilities of communication and market, depredation by wild animals and vagaries of nature. So villages of the irrigated area of Bargarh Sub-Division have been divided into three classes mainly on the consideration of communication and marketing facilities. This has been so done because other factors like depredation by wild animals and vagaries of monsoon are practically nonexistent in this area. Villages situated within 5 miles of all weather roads or railway line were placed in class I, those situated within 5 to 10 miles in class II and all villages beyond 10 miles in class III. Classification of lands was almost the same as adopted during Hamid Settlement , but divided into the above three classes for assessment of fair and equitable rent.
The OCH & PFL Act 1972 came into force w.e.f. and the consolidation operation was started in the irrigated village of Bargarh District. And at present Consolidation ROR are prevailing in the Irrigated Tahasil like Atabira, Bheden, Bargarh & Barpali.System of collection of Land RevenueCollection of land revenue has always been regarded as the most important aspect of revenue administration in a district. It involves an elaborate process and is fraught with many tricky problem arising out of constant public contact. The British Government, which in spite of an efficient administrative system was nevertheless a foreign power over an unfamiliar country, did not like to involve itself in the intricacies of revenue collection and they shifted the burden to the host of intermediaries in whatever name known allowing certain commissions and concessions for prompt and timely payment. Thus between the State and the actual tillers of the soil this artificial class was merely superimposed only for the benefit of the Government and much to the detriment of the tenants.But consequent on the abolition of the intermediary right in land in the state, a direct relationship between the Government and the tenants has been established and the Government has assumed full responsibility of collecting their land revenue direct from the tenants. The Tahasil pattern of administration has been introduced an d a Manual of Tehsil Accounts containing uniform rules for the management of Khasmahals and Raiyati tracts throughout the state has been framed by the Board of Revenue in 1961. In pursuance of the provisions of this Manual, the responsibility of collection of land revenue now devolves mainly on the Tahasildar who is a revenue officer of the rank of a deputy Collector under whom Revenue Inspectors have been posted in charge of specified areas depending upon the quantum of revenue demands. There are Revenue Supervisors in the overall charge of a number of Revenue Inspector circles whose main duty is to ensure inter alia, speedy, correct and timely collection of land revenue by the Revenue Inspectors. The District has been divided into 12 Tahasils each under the charge of a Tahasildar who is assisted by a number of Revenue Supervisors, Revenue Inspectors, Amins and other auxiliary staff. The table given below indicates the staffing pattern of the Tahasildars who take part in the Collection work more or less directly.