With less than a year to go into the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal has decided to come up with a housing project — ‘Nijoshree’ — that will offer 2 BHK flats for less than Rs 10 lakh. The decision was announced by Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday who said that the project was approved by state chief minister Mamata Banerjee in a Cabinet meeting at Nabanna on Wednesday. The West Bengal government believes that the project will help people purchase accommodation near the city at a lower price.
Under the ‘Nijoshree’ scheme, flats will be available in two different categories — one and two bedrooms. Initially, a total of 50,000 units will be made available under the scheme and the government hopes that it will be completed within next 2-3 years.
“Applicants will have to apply for flats online and candidates will be selected through lottery,” Hakim said, adding that a single applicant will not be allowed to apply multiple times online.
However, there is a small catch. The scheme is only for people with low income. Under this scheme, those earning up to Rs 15,000 per month will be eligible for one bedroom (378 sq ft carpet area) flats, while those whose income does not exceed Rs 30,000 can apply for two bedroom apartments (559 sq ft carpet area).
These flats will be built on land available with different bodies and development authorities. The cost of a 1BHK flat will be Rs 7.28 lakh, while 2BHK flats will be priced at Rs 9.26 lakh.
Apart from this, the cabinet also approved the proposed green fuel supply to greater Kolkata within five years. GAIL along with the Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation Ltd (GCGSCL) would work for the Calcutta Gas Supply Project to household in South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and Kolkata.
“The chief minister wants gas to be supplied to every household at reasonable rate. Within two years we will try to set up the network of pipelines to supply green fuel and in another five years its supply will start to areas under the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority,” Hakim said.
In another major decision, the cabinet has decided to upgrade around 10,357 sub-centres to health and wellness centres in the state and recruit around 5,200 nurses for the grade II category, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Chandrima Bhattacharya said.
The decision of offering houses at low costs comes just a day after the Mamata government, in another populist move, hiked the DA for government employees by 18% with just one year left for Lok Sabha elections. The hike will benefit state government employees, including teachers and non-teaching staff in all government-aided educational institutions and employees of rural and urban local bodies.
It would be effective from January 1, 2019.