Jamabandhi to go online this fasli year

Petitions can be filed through e-seva centres between June 29 and July 15

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown, the Tamil Nadu government, earlier this week, decided to receive petitions for jamabandhi online through e-seva centres for perhaps the first time this fasli year. A revenue fasli year is the period between July 1 and June 30.

A Government Order said the State government had decided to dispense with petitions for jamabandhi at the village-level for the fasli year 1429 (2019-2020). The government has instructed District Collectors to settle/close revenue accounts only, which are being maintained, and issue orders accordingly. “However, the District Collectors are directed to receive petitions from the public through the 10,436 e-seva Centres across the State during the third or fourth week of June 2020, and to give suitable replies to all jamabandhi petitions without fail,” it stated.

The Commissioner of Revenue Administration informed Collectors that petitioners can file jamabandhi petitions through e-seva centres between June 29 and July 15. Limited or nil public transport in some districts, prohibition of gatherings or congregations of five and more persons in a particular place and restrictions on the movement of persons above 65 years of age were cited as the reasons behind the decision.

A senior official said this was “probably the first time” the jamabandhi was being held online.

Direct interface

A Village Administrative Officer (VAO) was sceptical of the decision contending that jamabandhi was a major direct interface between government officials and the general public for their Revenue Department- related issues. “Not many in the rural areas are used to filing petitions through e-sevai centres. Jamabandhis are being held for so many decades and people are used to physical handing over of petitions to officials. Even many VAOs are still unsure of how to go about it this year,” he told The Hindu. But, he did acknowledge that physical meeting was not possible this year due to COVID-19.

Income due to the State government by way of fasli jasthi, theervai jasthi, collected from farmers of agricultural lands in areas well irrigated by major rivers, ‘B’ Memo charges, which are collected from farmers cultivating crops in poromboke land, sale of fishery rentals and usufructs of trees, (where 2C patta has not been given, etc.) in each village are to be settled once a year before June 30 and this process is called jamabandhi.

For the annual settlement of village accounts that fasli, VAOs would produce all the accounts and survey instruments for scrutiny for jamabandhi. The Collector (may depute other Deputy Collector-level officers), District Revenue Officer and the Divisional Officer would take up a taluk as jamabandhi officer and after thorough verification of all the accounts would approve them.

If jamabandhi is not completed before June 30 that year, the CRA’s permission is to be obtained to conduct it after the close of the fasli.

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