For an alternative perspective on the institution of patwaris the following article is an interesting read. It resonates with the FloodMAPS team’s experience throughout the mauza mapping project, namely, that patwaris are crucial to the process. The patwaris know a great deal with regard to the land belonging to their patwar circles. Moreover, following the floods that struck the country, these land revenue officials have been a major component of the disaster management strategies of various provincial departments. Whatever the broader debates surrounding the benefits of such an office, the importance of patwaris in the here and now cannot be denied.  Here is a collection of excerpts from Zahoor Hussain’s article:

‘After partition in 1947, no steps were taken to reform the agency of the tapedar (patwari)…This official has continued to perform various duties, despite his limitations, relating to rescue, relief and rehabilitation in cases of natural disasters….Now the tapedars will help prepare lists of all flood victims who did not receive Watan Cards…..Unless and until we have some suitable modern institutional arrangement with proper networks in every nook and corner of the country, the services of this official should be utilized as he is indispensable’

- ‘An indispensible official’, Dawn, 9/12/10