Garhwal Land Settlements by J.H. Batten

Garhwal Land Settlements by J.H. Batten

British Administration in Garhwal -23
History of British Rule/Administration over Kumaun and Garhwal (1815-1947) -39
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -877
By: Bhishma Kukreti (History Student)
As per 1833 regulation 9, the income sources were –
1-Mal- Taxes on land
2-Sayar-Misclenious Taxes on cotton, tobacco, beetle, dresses , sales, boats, traders, grass cutting, catching animals and birds , hemp and other addiction materials, wine etc. (Bhanu)
Governor General Lord William Henry Cavendish Bentinck was eager for improving revenues system. The regulation 9 of 1833 was brought due to Bentinck persuasion. British government opened a new department and increased employees there. In past, the tax was collected on real agriculture production. British government fixed tax on expected income. The aim of new regulation were (Bhanu 3)-
1-Demarcation of boundaries for each village
2-Demarcation of each area of a village and owners for each area
3- Measuring the unnoticed land and fixing tax on such land
4-Restructuring villages and Talukas or Tahsils
5- Reviewing past tax settlements
6- Correction on land and their real owners
7- Fixing realistic tax installments for farmers

8- Establishing a separate fund for road constructions
9- Establishing new system assisting rural police

J.H Batten as in Charge for Land Settlement

British appointed Robert M. Bird as chief officer for land settlement for Agra province. Bird was a senior member of Board of Revenues, Allahabad. Robert M. Bird completed land settlement with his hard work and support of his subordinates.
In 1837, Bird appointed and pasted a capable civil servant J.H. Batten for Garhwal Land Settlement. Batten has some knowledge for land settlement in plains. Batten had to work under Rohilkhand commissioner (Pauri Garhwal report). Batten was hard working and focused civil servant. Batten completed land settlement in Garhwal.

Before Batten came, there was no settlement for five years. The tax collection was based on assumptions. The government was to do settlement for long terms basis. Then, the tax determination had to be done on the basis of measurement and true ownership basis. It was not easy task.
Difficulties for J. H. Batten for Garhwal Land Settlement
First of all, Batten had to get knowledge for present Garhwal Land Settlement System.
The government servants were totally unaware about regulation -9.Batten had to make them knowledgeable about policies and procedures of Regulation -9.
Kumaon commissioner Traill was disinterested for reading regulations of Indian plains. The civil servants under Traill did not have experience for working under ‘Deputy Collector’.
The Garhwal hill region was spread over 4000 square miles. Batten had to visit each village and make land settlement. There were no village maps available. There were no exact village border demarcations available.
According to Batten, Traill became popular because he did not measure land and levied least land tax. (Atkinson)
Batten had to determine tax on real measurement. There was biggest problem of different land of a village has different geographical conditions , different flora and different productivity .Even, a field of ten meters land does not have even productivity within a two three meters. Batten had to keep in mind the different geographical conditions, valleys, varied height and depth within a small village area. Batten was of opinion that each land should be measured accurately.
The Pgar (walls ) of farms was another exclusive factors of farms of Garhwal.

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com 17/8/2016
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -878
*** History of British Rule/Administration over Kumaun, (Pauri, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli) Garhwal (1815-1947) to be continued in next chapter
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
1-Shiv Prasad Dabral ‘Charan’, Uttarakhand ka Itihas, Part -7 Garhwal par British -Shasan, part -1, page 175-176
2- Bhanu Dharma, History and Administration of North West Provinces page 165
3- Bhanu Dharma, History and Administration of North West Provinces page 167-68
4-Batten (editor), 1851, Official reports on Province of Kumaon
5-Batten , 1843, Report on the settlement of the district of Pauri Garhwal in the province of Kumaon 56
6- Atkinson, Himalayan Districts vol.3, page 290
History of British Rule, Administration , Policies, Revenue system, over Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule , Administration , Policies Revenue system over Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Chamoli Garhwal, Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Rudraprayag Garhwal, Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Dehradun , Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, ,Revenue system over Bageshwar Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;
History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, Revenue system over Haridwar, Pithoragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand;

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