State government to help slum dwellers fulfill dream of living in flats
Kolkata: State Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday that slum dwellers residing in vacant government plots can now have their own dwellings in that place.
"We have instructed the Block Land Revenue Officer (BLRO) that in places where slums have come up, government land that has been lying unutilised will be leased out and dwellings can come up under the government sponsored 'Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griho' scheme. Houses can also be constructed under the 'Banglar Bari' scheme," Hakim said, while tabling the West Bengal Thika Tenancy (Acquisition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2019, in the state Assembly. He stated that the decision has already received the approval of the state Cabinet.
It may be mentioned that over the years, most of the thika properties have either become dilapidated for various reasons or have gone under litigation, leaving no scope for development and reconstruction for improving the living conditions of the people, their safety and security.
"The Bill empowers the tenant to build his own house by taking bank loans, or through the government's 'Banglar Bari' Scheme," Hakim said.
He added that the dream of slum dwellers to live in flats can be fulfilled and in this context, the Bill can be regarded as historic. He asserted that sanction would also be given for G+4 buildings. He further stressed upon taking necessary measures to avoid "promoter raj" during enactment of the Act.
"The tenants' right of the thika land will be upheld through this Act. We don't want housing scams like the Dharavi Policy in Mumbai or similar scams in Gujarat," he said.
Hakim said that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has conducted a survey with the thika controller and enlisted the amount of land under thika tenancy.
According to sources, the move would benefit the inhabitants and tenants of the slum areas of Burrabazar, Ahritola, Jadavpur, Chetla and Topsia, wherein they would be able to build residential buildings on their own.