Finally, Govt issues order for maintaining revenue records in demystified manner

English language to be used as sub-script in titles
*Revenue Registers to have bar-coding to curb frauds

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 8: Finally, the Government has issued detailed guidelines to ensure much-needed transparency in the functioning of the revenue administration with strict directions about maintenance of revenue records/extracts in demystified manner and use of English language as sub-script in the titles. Moreover, the Revenue Registers will have bar-coding to standardize the revenue extracts and to curb the frauds in their issuance.
On March 20, 2019, EXCELSIOR exclusively highlighted that Government was sleeping over the proposal to demystify language of revenue records since 2016 despite being aware of the fact that use of cryptic and archaic terms/numerals in the construction and maintenance of the revenue records was leading to monopolizing the information and consequent misuse at the cost of the hapless citizens.
It was also highlighted in the report that even senior functionaries of the Revenue Department right from Financial Commissioner Revenue to the Tehsildar are unable to understand the cryptic terms as most of the direct recruit officers have very little familiarity either with the Urdu language or complex terms being used in the revenue records.
Demystifying the revenue record was also one of the recommendations of the High Level Committee, which was constituted by the Government vide Order No.146-Rev(Vij) of 2018 dated August 8, 2018 to suggest measures to ensure transparency in delivery of public services to the citizens coupled with overall improvement in the efficiency in the functioning of the revenue administration and to provide justice to the aggrieved persons in case there has been wilful default on the part of revenue field functionaries in discharge of their official duties.
After detailed deliberations, the High Level Committee recommended various measures vide Communication No.FCR/STS/SOP/109/2018 dated March 22, 2019 to the Government for consideration. Thereafter, the General Administration Department vide OM No.GAD/Vig/30-Comp/2018 dated October 3, 2019 instructed to consider the actionable suggestions made by the High Level Committee to bring more transparency in the functioning of the revenue administration particularly at the field level.
Accordingly, the Revenue Department vide Communication No.Rev/Vig/89/2017-I dated October 18, 2019 instructed for immediate appropriate action as advised by the General Administration Department.
Now, consequent upon the approval of the Government, detailed guidelines have been issued to ensure transparency in delivery of public services to the citizens coupled with overall improvement in the efficiency in the functioning of the revenue administration and to bring institutional accountability even though the revenue functionaries/authorities perform quasi-judicial functions, which don’t involve any amendments to any of the existing laws/rules governing the revenue administration.
As per the guidelines/ instructions, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the field functionaries have been directed to maintain the revenue records/ extracts in demystified and simplified manner by recording the quantities and numerals of land in the Revenue Registers in standard Indo Arabic numerals like 1,2,3…. to make revenue extracts readable and intelligible to a common man.
“Various Revenue Registers like Mutation Registers, Jamabandi (RoR) Registers and Khasra Girdawari Registers etc shall be printed centrally through Ranbir Government Press with proper numbering and bar-coding to standardize the revenue extracts and to curb the frauds in their issuance”, read the instructions.
Further, the title of the Revenue Registers in Urdu will contain with translation in English language as a subscript in a smaller font. “The Deputy Commissioners will assess their annual requirement and forward the same to the Regional Director, Survey and Land Records Srinagar/Jammu as per the already laid down procedure by end of December each year enabling the Government Press to make available the supplies by coming March”, the instructions further read.
To ensure efficiency and to achieve maximum output, functioning of the field staff in the districts and tehsils will be constantly reviewed and monitored quarterly by the respective Divisional Commissioners/ Commissioners Survey and Land Records and by the Deputy Commissioners/ Regional Directors Survey and Land Records every month.
All the revenue officers and field functionaries—Naib Tehsildars, Girdawars and Patwaris working in Revenue and other departments have been directed to ensure implementation of these guiding factors in letter and spirit together with circular instructions issued from time to time with regard to maintenance of revenue records.