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With a view to providing proper shelters, free of cost, to the poor, the Government in Housing Department has laid proper focus on construction of houses for the Economically Weaker Section of people. This scheme is being implemented in the rural areas and non-Municipal urban areas in coordination with seven other Government Departments under the name of ‘Gitanjali’ and ‘Amar Thikana’. The Departments executing the scheme ‘Gitanjali’ are:
a) Fisheries Department
b) Backward Classes Welfare Department
c) Minority Affairs & Madrasah Education Department
d) Forest Department
e) Sundarban Affairs Department and
f) Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Department.
The objective of the scheme is to provide proper shelters to the economically weaker section of society as well as to create additional employment opportunities for construction workers etc. The cost of such dwelling units for new construction on beneficiary’s land in rural areas varies across the span and terrain of the state as follows owing to different soil and climatic conditions:
(a) Rs. 1.67 lakh for beneficiaries in general residing in Rural areas of plains;
(b) Rs. 1.23 lakh for fishermen residing in non-coastal areas to be implemented by Fisheries Department;
(c) Rs. 1.94 lakh for beneficiaries residing in the forest fringe areas of Sunderbans (to be implemented by Forest Department), and, for beneficiaries residing in other non-forest Coastal areas to be implemented by Sundarban Affairs Department & Fisheries Department;
(d) Rs. 2.51 lakh for beneficiaries residing within the forest fringe areas and forest villages in hill areas of Darjeeling district to be implemented by Forest Department;
(e) Rs. 3 lakh within the forest villages of Jalpaiguri district to be implemented by Forest Department.
The cost of such dwelling units in for new construction in Non-Municipal Semi-Urban areas are as follows:
(i) Rs. 1.67 lakh - for single –storied building on beneficiary’s land;
(ii) Rs. 3.30 lakh – for multi-Storied building on the own land of implementing Government agencies or on Government land.
Construction of housing complexes in cluster approach is being explored for the EWS people in suitable areas dove-tailing with the programme ‘Nija Griha Nija Bhumi’ launched by L&LR Department.
Panchayat and Rural Development Department is implementing the scheme ‘Amar Thikana’ at a unit cost of Rs. 45,000/- for the plain areas and Rs. 48,500/- in hills, difficult areas and coastal areas.
Families with Monthly income of Rs. 6000/- or less will be benefitted under the scheme.
Housing Schemes under Backward Region Grant Fund:
Construction work of houses has been proposed under Special Grant from BRGF for construction of 34,758 dwelling units in 11 backward districts of the state (Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Bankura, Jalpaiguri, Birbhum, South 24-parganas, Malda, Mursidabad, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur) including LWE (Left Wing Extremist) areas, The matching share from State Budget is proposed for Rs. 46.82crore. The proposal has been sanctioned by the Planning Commission of India. The Central Government has approved an amount of Rs. 117.06 crore from Central Fund for the project and already allotted Rs. 40.00 crore in the 1st phase. The total project cost is Rs. 160.0013crore.
The area of these dwelling houses will be 20 sq m i.e. 215 sq ft.
The unit cost will be Rs. 48,500/- for Hill, Coastal area and Jungal Mahal area; Unit cost for other areas will be Rs. 45,000/-.
Families enlisted under BPL category will be eligible for the above scheme.
Other Schemes :
The Housing Department decided to implement L.I.G. Housing Schemes directly to solve the accommodation problem of the low income group people especially the Minority People residing in urban areas. During 2012-13 a sum of Rs. 2.18 crore (Rupees two crore eighteen lakh) has been proposed in the Budget for construction of such housing schemes.
To mitigate the accommodation problem of the Middle Income Group people residing in urban areas, the Housing Department has taken up the programme for construction of some M.I.G. Housing Schemes on rental basis. During 2012-13 a sum of Rs. 2 crore (Rupees two crore) has been proposed in the Budget for construction of such housing scheme.
Housing Department requires some machineries, tools and equipments and Soft wares for project works / planning etc. for rendering better services by Housing Directorate, Estate Directorate and Brick Production Directorate as well as launching departmental Website and introduction of e-tendering . During 2021-13 a sum of Rs. 40 lakh (Rupees forty lakh) has been proposed in the Budget for this purpose.
In order to make administrative improvement for proper functioning of this Department, provision has been made to allocate fund for construction of Office-cum-residential complexes for the field officers and the Secretariat Establishment of this Department in one complex at New Town, Kolkata. An estimate of Rs. 25.02 crores for this project has been prepared. During 2012-13, a sum of Rs. 5 crores (Rupees five crores) has been proposed in the Budget for this purpose.
Another scheme, much-needed, has been conceived to cater for the needs of long-distance travellers along national and state highways. Such travellers will be able to access the four-in-one facility centres, at 50-60 km intervals, which will provide for night stay, restaurant, toilets and parking facilities.