History | Revenue & Disaster Management | Government Of Assam, India
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Government Of Assam Revenue & Disaster Management

History

  • History of Revenue & Disaster Management Department

    The defeat of the huge forces of Nawab Sirajud Daula at the battle of Palassey in 1757 at the hands of comparatively small band of mercenaries led by Robert Clive of the East India Company laid the foundation of the British Rule in India.

    In1765, the Moghals formally handed over the responsibilities of administration of Bengal and the adjoining areas to the East India Company.As a result, the major part of what was later to be known as the Goalpara District(part of Central Koch Kingdom) and almost the entire Sylhet were transferred to the East India Company.These parts of Assam were the earliest of any area which passed into the hands of the British Rulers.

    The East India Company thus established itself firmly with Bengal as the base and initiated administration principally in the law and order,revenue and judicial spheres.

    The Assam proper i.e.the Brahmaputra Valley came under the British contact during the tenure of the Ahom King Gaurinath Singh(1769-80) when he sought for military help to control the uprising of the Moamarias. Lord Cornwallis, the then Governor General sent Capt.Welsh in September,1792.The Company's forces reached Goalpara on the 8th November,1792 and by 24th November,1792, Capt. Welsh and his men reached Guwahati and without much trouble restored order. Capt.Welsh and his team continued their good work to quell a series of disturbances including protracted rebellion by the Moamarias in the Upper Assam right upto Rangpur during 1792-1794. Capt.Welsh left Assam in mid 1794.

    Soon a period of rapid expansion and intensive consolidation of the British Rule took place, partly on account of the void created by the decline and fall of the Moghal Empire in Delhi and gradual weakening of the smaller Indian Princes,Nawabs,and Rulers; and partly due to imperialist designs and commercial motives of the British.

    In the mean time, the Treaty of Yandabo between the British and the Burma on the24th February,1826 marked the end of Burmese mis-adventure and formal beginning of the British rule in Assam proper started.The British annexed Cachar area in 1830 and it was brought under British administration in1832.A separate Goalpara District was curved out of North East Rangpur in 1822. The Brahmaputra Valley Districts of Kamrup, Darrang, and Nagaon were brought under direct British control after the Treaty of Yandabo while the Districts of Sibsagar and Lakhimpur were incorporated formally in 1839; Sadia and Matak tracts were added in 1842.The consolidation of British rule in Assam may be said to be completed in 1874.

    The period from the Treaty of Yandabo(1826) to the formation of the Province of Assam(1874) witnessed intensive development in the field of public administration and Tea industry,enactment of different Legal measures and Revenue Laws and Regulations which were to influence the State Administration for a long time.

    The constitution of Assam into a Chief Commissionership by the proclamation of February 6,1874,was a landmark development in the history of Assam administration. When Col.R.H.Keatinge assumed the office of the Chief Commissionership at Guwahati on February,1874,his secretariat consisted of only one Secretary having three main Departments viz; General,Judicial and Revenue with two subsidiary departments,Native and Records.

    The Revenue Department,one of the three original departments, was truly multipurpose dealing with such diverse subjects as Forests,Immigration and Labour,Finance,Commerce,Economic Products like Silk,Indigo and Tea, Excise and Registration,Survey and Settlement, Agriculture,Veterinary, Irrigation and Canals, Cooperatives Credit,Fisheries,Weights and Measures,Archeology and Museum,Court of Wards,Mines and Minerals,Famine and Flood Relief,Debt Conciliation Board etc. Later on other line departments were separated from the original Revenue Department. From late thirties,Revenue Department was divided into two distinct branches,viz;Revenue General and Revenue Settlement. After 1947,a number of Land Reforms measures were enacted necessiating a separate wing in the Revenue Department for better attention. In 1956, Revenue Department was re-grouped into four major branches,viz;Revenue General,Revenue Settlement,Land Revenue and Land Acquisition Branch and Land Reforms Branch. Later on Registration and Relief & Rehabilitation Branches were added to it. In 2007, the Revenue Department was renamed as the Revenue & Disaster Management Department. Very recently, in 2016, some new branches are created for smooth functioning of of the Department in the event of e-Governance and modernization efforts viz; e-Governance Branch, Human Resources development Branch,Process Re-engineering Branch, Citizen Engagement Branch,Disaster Management Branch,Planning & Financial Branch,Management Branch,Coordination Branch,Digital India Land Records Modernization Branch etc.