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The state of West Bengal has a rich history of cadastral mapping, which was conducted on the basis of scientific survey initiated from 1888. West Bengal is one of the states in the Eastern India, where land records were prepared as per Permanent Settlement Regulation, invoked by the British East India Company in 1793.

Survey Set-up In West Bengal

The Thodolite Traverse Survey is conducted in the mauzas by the Surveyors of the West Bengal Traverse Party under the Directorate of Land Records & Surveys, as per requisition of the District Land & Land Reforms Officers. The Surveyors, who are well-trained and qualified from Government Survey Training Institutes, do the field work and send the field data for computation of co-ordinates of the control stations and preparation of survey plot sheets by the Computors at the Directorate. The plot sheets are then sent to the district offices for detailed survey by Chain Survey method.

Brief History

The first series of cadastral maps, covering the entire State, was prepared during the District Survey & Settlement Operations of 1888 - 1940 for implementing the provisions of the Bengal Tenancy Act 1885. The first major Settlement operation, was popularly known as C.S.
A Revisional Settlement Operation was conducted mainly during 1954- 1962, under the West Bengal Estate Acquisition Act 1953, in which District Settlement maps and records were revised and updated.
The Second large scale settlement operation, popularly known as Revisional Settlement (R.S) was conducted mainly during 1954-1962, under the West Bengal Estate Acquisition Act 1953, in which District Settlement maps and records were revised and updated. The W.B.E.A. Act, 1953, called for abolishing all intermediary rights on payment of compensation and equitable distribution of lands by imposing ceilings on holdings to be retained by individual intermediary / raiyat.
Presently, Survey & Settlement Operation for Land Reforms, popularly known as L.R., under the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1955, which has been going on since 1972 by updating RS maps and records, is nearing completion. Due to rapid urbanization and industrial development, fresh survey is being carried out in many areas, mainly in the adjacent areas of districts towns, due to change of topography.

  Methodology of Cadastral Mapping in West Bengal

  • The unit of survey for cadastral mapping and preparation of land records in West Bengal is a mauja (a revenue village).
  • Distance and planimetric area of land are extracted from the map itself. No dimension of the plots are mentioned on the cadastral maps. As such, accuracy in survey and plotting are of prime importance in this form of cadastral mapping. There are 68328 such cadastral sheets covering 42301 maujas of this State as per current Settlement Operation.  All maps are of 30”X 22” size or more (A1 to A0 size).
  • Following the Survey Principle of “From whole to Part”, a mauza under survey is first subjected to theodolite traverse for establishing control points of high accuracy  (normally  1: 1000) and then ground details are subsequently surveyed and plotted on the basis those control points by plane table or chain survey ( accuracy 1:200).
  • Astronomical observations are taken at regular intervals for determination of Azimuths of survey lines in respect of the True North and the traverse survey is connected with the local GTS pillars for determination of accuracy of the survey.
  • The scales of cadastral mapping are 16" = 1 mile (1:3960) for rural areas, 32"= 1 mile (1:1980) for semi-urban areas, 64"= 1 mile ( 1: 990), 128"= 1 mile( 1: 495) and 1"= 50 feet (1:600) for urban areas.
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