In the year 1887 the then Ruler of J&K State appointed Mr. Vingate to conduct first settlement in a few villages. It was in the year 1889 that Sir Walter Lawrence was appointed to carry settlement operations with full powers. He faced non-cooperation in the initial stage, which was at the behest of revenue officials involved in collection of land revenue. The lack of confidence from cultivators over the revenue officials was an added factor in this non-cooperation. He in the first instance worked hard and motivated people making them understand the rationalization of land revenue on basis of fertility, irrigation facilities and measurement of land etc. and the wastelands were also allowed to be used by cultivators. The grievances in the form of litigation were referred to the Settlement Officer for his speedy disposal.
The settlement department was declared a permanent establishment; people’s confidence was built and they were involved in settlement operations. Very simple food (shali or paddy) was taken as land revenue and maximum portion of shali crop was allowed to be retained by them. The result was that it helped the absentee cultivators, who had previously run away because of fear psychosis of work or payment of land revenue, to return. The cultivators who were previously reluctant to cultivate the waste land started filling fresh application for allotment The occupancy cultivators were given protection under law. The motivational involvement followed sense of belonging given to a common cultivator led to successful measurement of land and subsequent construction of Land Records.
The following steps are involved in preparation of record of rights or revision of record of rights:
It relates to detailed measurement of fields or plots by cross-staff and chain which is simplest method of measurement. In the first settlement operation, people with limited educational qualifications were capable to handle this method, in which fields are divided into right-angled triangles and trapeziums their basis and perpendiculars are measured using cross-staff. Area of right-angled triangle is calculated by utilizing the formula viz base X ½ perpendicular and that of trapezium as (base X ½ sum of perpendiculars). To measure a field the corners and bends of the field are marked out with some objects like white washed stones or flags. By moving along the base line offsets are taken at each corner .A flag is seen through one groove on baseline and another flag is fixed on the corner and seen through the other groove of the cross. In this way, a right-angled triangle is formed on the ground .In this way, all the fields to be surveyed are divided into right-angled triangles and trapeziums..
Then the periphery measurements are taken to check accuracy of measurement of the offsets and the base line. In actual practice, the whole area of an estate is first brought under squares and any side of the square could be taken as base line for drawing offsets. In hilly areas, where there are slopes, the area to be measured is brought under triangles (triangulation) and any side of a triangle could form the base line for the offsets . The measurements are taken into a book known as field – book. In the evening, the fields are plotted to a scale. Where one inch =40 karams (220 ft.). A scale made of bronze is used for this purpose which bears 20 marks to an inch and each mark equals 2 karams (11ft). It is used to prepare village map locally known as massavi and later traced on a special quality cloth or latha for use by the Revenue Officials. It is interesting to note that more 100-year-old maps prepared on latha are in use in the state of J&K.
With the introduction of metric system of “Weights and Measures” in 1998-99. The traditional system of measurement has been replaced with the introduction of latest state of Art of technology in terms of Electronic Total Stations .
In traditional Survey the measurement followed by preparation of khasra-Payamish or field book in which area of each survey No was calculated which is no more required after the introduction of E.T.S (Electronic Total Station).