HC Deb 24 August 1893 vol 16 cc980-1

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the attention of the Secretary of State has been drawn to a statement by the Judge of Patna, in a letter to The Times on the Behar Cadastral Survey, that in Behar the fields, each with its 12-inch separation from the next, are often not larger than a gentleman's drawing-room, and the farmer who holds 10 acres has to find his total from, it may be, 20 or 30 patches lying all over the country; whether the Report of the Sone Irrigation Survey shows that the actual cost of the Cadastral Survey of such holdings, with its record of rights, sometimes exceeds the fee-simple value of the land; and whether the Secretary of State will permit the Government of Bengal in such cases to make a compulsory survey at the costs of the landlords and tenants?


Yes; the attention of the Secretary of State has been directed to the letter written by Mr. Tweedie which appeared in The Times of the 19th August. My answer to the second and third questions is that the Secretary of State has not in his possession any evidence showing that in the Sone Canal District the cost of the Cadastral Survey will exceed the fee-simple value of the land.


May I ask the Under Secretary of State for India what would be the total cost of the Behar Cadastral Survey in its eight stages, as indicated in the notice issued by the Director of the Survey in February last, including the settlement of "fair rents" in the fifth stage of the Survey; whether this cost is to be defrayed by fresh taxation on the laud of Bengal; what will be the annual cost of the maintenance of the record of right; from what source will this cost be defrayed; and will any legislation on the subject be submitted to the Legisla- tive Council of the Viceroy or the Legislative Council of Bengal, with permission to the official members to vote as they liked; whether the proposals of the Government of Bengal involve the abrogation or modification of the permanent settlement of Bengal; and will all the Papers be submitted to Parliament before the sanction of the Secretary of State was given?


The cost of the Behar Survey has been estimated at eight annas per acre. As at present arranged, a portion of the expense will fall upon the landholder and the ryot, and a part will be defrayed by the State. The cost of maintaining the record of right would be about three-quarters of an anna per rupee of rent, an amount which would be defrayed by a cess. The Survey of Behar is an outcome of the Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885, and any questions respecting the permanent settlement must be considered to have been determined by the passing of this latter Act. The Secretary of State has already given his sanction to the survey: but he has inquired whether further Papers can be presented.