HC Deb 27 July 1893 vol 15 cc645-6

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Government of Bengal are proceeding with the Cadastral Survey in Behar notwithstanding the protest of the British India Association, the Behar Landholders' Association, the Bhangul-pore Landholders' Association, the Zemindars Punchayet, and the Indian Property Association, representing a, large majority I of the zemindars of Bengal; whether it has been strongly represented to Government that such surveys will, instead of being a relief to the ryots and a measure of utility to them and to the zemindars, be felt by all classes interested in hind in India, as a wholly unnecessary penal exaction resulting in no advantage to them or to the State; what, if any, progress has been made with the Surveys which have been sanctioned by Executive order; what the total estimated expenditure on such Surveys, which has been ordered to be borne by the zemindars and subordinate holders in equal moieties, is; and whether, in previous Cadastral Surveys of a, Province in India, the cost of such Surveys has been made a charge upon the General Revenues of the country?


(1) Yes, Sir; the Cadastral Survey of North Behar is being prosecuted after careful consideration of the arguments for and against the measure. (2) The view summarised in Clause 2 of the hon. Member's question has been urged on the Government in India by some of the opponents of the Survey. (3) Precise Returns of the amount of survey already done are not available; but it is believed that the survey of 1,000 to 1,200 square miles has been accomplished. (4) The estimated cost of the Cadastral Survey is 8 annas (about 8d.) an acre; of this, according to present arrangements, the General Treasury is to bear l–8th of the cost, while 7–16ths will be paid by the laud-holders, and the same proportion will be borne by the occupiers or ryots. (5) In temporarily-settled tracts the General Treasury usually bears nearly the whole cost of a Cadastral Survey, because the charge is recouped in a few years by the increase of Land Revenue secured. In permanently-settled tracts such as Behar no increase of Revenue will result from the Survey, and the Government only bears a portion of the cost.