Land Revenue and Land Tenure System of Chittagong: Origin, Oddity and Outcome


The land revenue system of Chittagong has been an interesting phenomenon among Bengal administrators for peculiarity and intricacy. Several factors can explain this peculiarity. The system has been influenced by the Arakanese domination over Chittagong and the lateness of the district’s incorporation into the Mughal system. Its frontier position, the survey and measurement of only the cultivated lands of the district in 1764-67, and the degree to which even in the early twentieth century internal colonization of waste lands was still proceeding had also made it an intricate system. Above all, the small size of the zamindaries and their dispersal in many distant and detached blocks, and the only partial imposition of the Permanent Settlement of 1793 all help to explain why the land revenue system in Chittagong was interesting for Bengal administrators. This article seeks to state and explain these eccentricities in some detail and their consequences.

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