October 19, 2013
Shelters for the Economically Weaker Section of the Society – Trinamool Govt shows the way
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee is not merely a politician in power, but a true mass leader. On one hand she has demonstrated that she is a stern administrator; with a strong hand she had steered the state administrative system towards work culture, while on the other hand, she continually reaches out to the masses as Didi; the district tours are testimony to the same. She had led the Secretariat to the districts, the remotest corners of the state, taking stock of the developmental works and taking instant decisions for more development. The Bengal Chief Minister has never steered away from her basic principle of serving the Maa, Mati and Manush.
A home for all – this has been Ms. Mamata Banerjee`s vision. To turn this dream into reality, the Trinamool Government has taken some momentous initiatives. The Housing Department has initiated the construction of houses for the Economically Weaker Section of people. These houses will be made available to the poor, free of cost.
The scheme to construct houses for the Economically Weaker Section of people is being implemented in the rural areas and non-Municipal urban areas in coordination with seven other Government Departments; the scheme has been christened `Gitanjali` and `Amar Thikana`. 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 Housing Department has taken up construction of 20,000 flats for the Minority communities and 10,000 houses for the Fishermen.
The beneficiaries will be:
a) Economically Weaker Section of people residing in rural areas of plains
b) Fishermen residing in non-coastal areas to be implemented by Fisheries Department
c) Economically Weaker Section of people residing in the forest fringe areas of Sunderbans in other non-forest Coastal areas
d) Economically Weaker Section of people residing within the forest fringe areas and forest villages in hill areas of Darjeeling district
e) Economically Weaker Section of people residing within the forest villages of Jalpaiguri district
Construction of housing complexes using the cluster approach is on the cards for the Economically Weaker Sections among the state populace; beneficiaries have been identified under the `Nija Griha Nija Bhumi` programme. The scheme `Amar Thikana` is being implemented in the Hills, backward areas and coastal areas. Families with Monthly income of Rs. 6000/- or less can avail the benefits of the scheme.
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 has been taken up. Families enlisted under BPL category will be eligible for the same.
The Housing Department decided to implement L.I.G. Housing Schemes to provide accommodation to the low income groups, especially the minority communities residing in urban areas.
Another much-needed scheme has been conceived by the State Government to aid the long-distance travelers along national and state highways. Such travelers will be able to access the four-in-one facility centers, at 50-60 km intervals. These centers will have facilities for night stay, restaurants, toilets and parking facilities.
Hope to Reality
Shelter is a basic human need next only to food and clothing. West Bengal had been bearing the brunt of acute housing scarcity for a long time, but no steps were being taken to address the situation. The West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee made it a point to provide the people of the state with proper shelters, among other necessities. The projects taken up will ensure that the Economically Weaker Section have a right to life with dignity.