State okays redevelopment of Thika tenancy land
Kolkata: In a major development, the Bengal government on Thursday has decided to allow the construction of multi-storeyed buildings on Thika land in Kolkata and Howrah lifting the earlier ban of not allowing construction beyond a height of 9.5 metres. The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The new law as proposed by the state government will entitle the Thika tenants to set up constructions up to five storeys. The tenants can set up their buildings on their own or through a bank loan. However, it would be obligatory on the part of the Thika tenants to accommodate the sub-tenants in the newly constructed houses. Under no circumstance, the Thika tenants will be allowed to engage developers to construct the building.
State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said: "All the Thika tenants and sub-tenants will be rehabilitated in the new buildings. Each floor would measure around 385 square feet. A construction of up to five storeys can be made by the Thika tenants. If someone is unable to construct the same due to financial constraints, the Bengal government will provide financial assistance to these tenants for setting up the building under 'Banglar Bari' scheme run by the government."
Under the 'Banglar Bari' scheme, the Bengal government extends financial help to the poor so that they can set up their houses. The Thika tenants can also apply for bank loans if they wish to do so. No promoters will be allowed to construct buildings on Thika land, Hakim clarified while addressing the media at Nabanna on Thursday.
It was learnt that during the Zamindari period, the landowners used to allow tenants on their lands. Later, when the Zamindari system was abolished, these Thika tenants continued to occupy the lands and had been living there generation after generation.
In Kolkata, the total amount of Thika land is something around 2,000 acre while in Howrah the figure remains nearly at 517 acre.
The Cabinet meeting also proposed to set up a special committee which will look into the possible amendments in the municipal laws necessary for promulgating the new laws. On the basis of the recommendations by the committee, the new Bill will be placed in the state Assembly.
Earlier, many these Thika tenants despite being affluent, were unable to construct buildings beyond 9.5 metres in height which is equivalent to a four-storeyed building due to the restrictions laid down by the municipal laws.
It may be mentioned here that a large number of people living in various slums across the city will be immensely benefitted after the restriction is lifted.
There are many such Thika tenants and sub-tenants in many of the slums in the city.