4.7.1 Statistics of land use are compiled from the village land records maintained by the patwari. The information is available according to each survey number and recorded under nine categories: (a) Forests, (b) Area under Non-Agricultural use, (c) Barren and Uncultured Land, (d) Permanent Pastures and other Grazing Land, (e) Miscellaneous Tree Crops, (f) Culturable Waste Land, (g) Fallow Land other than Current Fallows, (h) Current Fallows, and (i) Net Area Sown. The details of each category along with its definition may be seen in the Annexe 4.5.
4.7.2 Land use statistics are also being collected through nationwide land use or cover mapping by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) according to a 22-fold classification, the definition of each category is given in the Annexe 4.6. The categories are much more detailed and provide useful information for land development programmes. However, these details are still not available at the local levels of block and panchayat.
4.7.3 The nine-fold classification of land use based on village records is not adequate and does not, for instance, provide information on such characteristics as social forestry, marshy and water logged land, built-up land, etc. which are important for local development plans. On the other hand, it is out of question to introduce the 22-fold classification in the village records. The patwari cannot, in most cases, identify the characteristics of various categories not to speak of the heavy burden this work imposes.
Conclusions and Recommendations
4.7.4 It is suggested that the nine-fold classification may be slightly enlarged to cover two or three categories of land use which are of common interest to the Centre and States, and which can be easily identified by the patwari through visual observation. Such addition increases his workload only marginally. The categories to be added may be decided by joint consultation between the Centre and the States. Incidentally, there was a consensus in the Conference of Central and State Statistical Organisations on the addition of social forestry, marshy and water logged land, and land under still waters.
4.7.5 It is desirable to consider in this context the question of rationalisation and simplification of the Village Crop Register (Khasra Register) and other records maintained by patwari. The records have remained almost the same since the mid 50s. There are also marked differences in the content and format of the records among the States. Cropping practices have also changed over time and new crops especially of short duration are sown and harvested. The list of crops covered by the Village Crop Abstract (Jinswar) needs a review that may also result in some changes in the manual of instructions for the girdawari. The Commission appointed an Expert to suggest changes after undertaking a review of the system of land records in different parts of the country. On examination of the Report of the Expert, the Commission is of the view that the system of land records being different in different States, it would be appropriate if the State Governments review the systems by appointing experts in the field.
4.7.6 Computerisation of land records is another major effort in progress to modernise the land record system. Under this programme, plot-wise details of ownership are to be maintained in the computer and periodically updated so that each owner is able to obtain readily his ownership record. Incidentally, computerisation reduces the workload of the patwari to the extent that he does not have to record the permanent columns of the Khasra Register. Many States have reported substantial progress in implementing the programme. It should be ensured that this is completed expeditiously.
4.7.7 The Commission, therefore, recommends that:
The nine-fold classification of land use should be slightly enlarged to cover two or three more categories such as social forestry, marshy and water logged land, and land under still waters, which are of common interest to the centre and States, and which can easily be identified by the patwari through visual observation.
State Governments should ensure that computerisation of land records is completed expeditiously.