Survey and Settlement

            Survey in Lakshadweep has been completed in 1969, in accordance with L.M.A Islands Survey and Boundaries Regulation, 1959 and rules made thereunder. Settlement operations are going on as envisaged in the Lakshadweep Land Revenue and Tenancy Regulation 1965 and the Rules framed thereunder. 

1. Land Survey

            At present there is no record of rights or basic records showing the details of lands held by individuals in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.  Until 1937 there had not been any survey of land, except the survey of government land.  The people were not aware of the right on land.  The property was confined to coconut trees, homesteads and the land appurtenant thereto.  The chief sources of revenue were the coir monopoly was adequate, no effort was made to levy and land revenue.

A “Tree Tax” at varying rates was levied as rent on coconut trees on Pandaram (Government) land in the possession of cowledars.  In the Laccadive group of islands there were Paimash registers showing the number of coconut trees held by an individual in the Pandaram land and the amount of tree tax to be paid by him to the Government.  These registers were first prepared in 1892 and were revised once in 12 years.  During this revision/Paimash, the “phalam” and “aphalam” coconut trees are counted to assess the tree tax payable.  In the Amini group of islands there was a property register prepared in 1875 and corrected in 1935, which showed the details of coconut trees and surrounding owners etc.  This tree tax is to be abolished when the land revenue becomes payable upon the completion of settlement work and upon expiry of the statutory interim period. 

            In Lakshadweep, the awareness of land its ownership has developed only recently.  The growth of population and consequent pressure on land, coupled with rapid socio-economic changes have made the people land conscious.  From an administrative point of view, the system of land records is central to efficient land administration.  Correct and up to date land records are a pre-requisite for implementation of any land reform programme.  It was against background that the survey operations were started in Lakshadweep.

            The survey was conducted on the basis of ownership and possession.  In almost all cases the holdings are very small; even as small as 0.1 Are.  The per capita availability of land is only 4.7 Are.  There were altogether 5002 survey fields with 5379 sub divisions as per original survey.  The number of sub divisions was 60939 in 1990.  this has further increased since then.  Also, Pitti-II and Tilakkam-III, two of the the attached uninhabited islets of Kalpeni are reported to have been washed out due to sea  erosion.  A complete picture of the holdings will emerge only after the basic settlement registers and record of right are finalized.  The following survey records have been prepared by the survey staff.

 

1.      Village Maps.

2.      Location Sketches.

3.      Survey Land Registers.

4.      Field Measurement Books.

5.      Area Lists.

6.      List of Perambokes. 

 

II.  Land Reforms (The Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi Islands (Land Revenue &   Tenancy Regulation), 1965.

            The Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi Islands (Land Revenue & Tenancy Regulation), 1965 and the Rules there under,  framed in 1968 were introduced in this Union Territory on August 1, 1968.  All the land in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep has been brought under the operation of this Regulation and there are no exemptions.  This Regulation contemplates progressive land reforms such as conferment of occupancy rights on cowledars and other persons in occupation of Pandaram (government) land, and fixity of  tenure to tenants and Kudiyans, abolition of Nadapu tenancy.

 

Preparation of records of rights and its publication

Assessment of land revenue and its recovery

Allotment of government land

Eviction of unauthorized occupants of government land

Rights and liabilities of land holders and Kudiyans

 

A salient feature of the Regulation is that it brought about the termination of the landlord-tenant relationship and the abolition of the forced compulsory service to the Jenmis, called the “nadapu Tenancy”.  The “Nadapu Tenancy” was peculiar to the islands of Agatti, Amini, Andrott and Kavaratti.  In this system the tenant could make use of the usufructs of some coconut trees of the landlord; he could also plant some trees of his won.  In exchange, a tenant was required to render the following services to his landlord/Jenmi. 

 

(i)                  to work as a member of the crew of the Jenmi’s sailing boat

(ii)                to thatch the boat shed of the Jenmi/cowledar and repair the boat

(iii)               to carry out seasonal repairs of the house of the Jenmi/cowledar or to render services in their houses on occasions of birth, marriage or death

 

With the implementation of the Regulation, the Nadapu Tenancy has been abolished and the tenants have obtained the status of independent land-owners.  The Jenmis and tenants are now enjoying ownership of one-fourth and three-fourth of the land respectively that was previously under “Nadapu”.  The rights of such tenants are heritable and all the inhabitants have security of tenure in the lands held by them.  Apart from the Jenmis, tenants, and cowledars there are small land holders called Kudiyans under the Regulation.  These Kudiyans are well protected under the Regulation as it prevents eviction of such Kudiyans from their homesteads.  The Kudiyan is given fixity of tenure. 

Preparation of Records of Rights – Present Status

At present the peparation of Record of Rights  is in the beginning of the IIIrd stage in most of the islands.  The table of revenue rates has been published.  The revenue rate for the entire Union Territory of Lakshadweep has been fixed at Rs.500 per hectare or Rs.0.50 per 10 Sq. mt. Subject to a minimum of Rs.1 to each holding.  All the Rough Pattas have been issued to the parties with notice calling for objections, if any.  In some islands the hearing and disposal of objections by the Assistant Settlement Officers is over.  In others, five of them, some of the last few objections are being disposed of .

Survey details of the Islands of the U.T. of Lakshadweep

 

Name of

Islands

Area (hectares)

 

No. of

Survey fields

No. of  Survey Sub Division(1968)

No. of Survey

Sub Division(1990)

Increase

In the No.

Of survey Sub Division

No. of Rough

Pattas

Kavaratti

362.94.9

983

7841

8958

1117

2105

Suheli

(Cheriyakara)

28.30.5

29

123

147

21

 

Subeli

(Valiyakara)

29.02

28

117

127

10

 

Pitti

01.20.4

1

1

1

0

 

Agatti

270.72.6

1326

13471

13736

265

4691

Bangaram

57.62.1

49

158

220

62

 

Thinnakara

41.80.9

33

143

184

41

 

Parali I

1.34.7

1

5

5

0

 

Kalpitti

7.19.2

14

29

29

0

 

Amini

259.48.4

407

6188

7189

1057

1658

Kadmat

312.4619

274

4080

4702

622

1821

Kiltan

163.37.2

208

3075

3512

407

955

Chetlat

103.85.7

211

3026

3164

138

1202

Bitra

9.93.1

10

132

156

24

100

Kalpeni

227.84.9

298

3818

4258

440

1366

Kodithala

0.26.5

1

1

1

0

 

Cheriyam

45.43.8

27

137

137

0

 

Thilakam I

1.03.2

1

1

1

0

 

Thilakam II

0.63.0

1

1

1

0

 

Thilakam III

0.36.3

1

2

2

0

 

Pitti I

0.28.3

1

2

2

0

 

Pitti II

2.76.7

1

2

2

0

 

Andrott

484.06.4

594

8093

8893

800

2639

Minicoy

437.21.8

397

3583

5503

1920

1516

Viringili

1.51.5

1

1

1

0

 

Total

2866.86.8

4898

53983

60939

6956

18049

 

 


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