11.134 The Department of Housing undertakes various activities mainly relating to the framing and implementation of various Social Housing Schemes through the Directorate of Housing and West Bengal Housing Board. There are two other Directorates under the administrative control of the Housing Department viz., the Estate Directorate and the Brick Production Directorate, responsible mainly for the management of different Government Housing Estates and Production, supply of quality bricks at reasonable price respectively. Further under the Administrative control of this Department ,there is operating a Government company named West Bengal Housing Iinfrastructure Development Corporation Limited (WBHIDCO). It is implementing a large project namely New Town, Kolkata, the objective of which is to create an eco-friendly residential settlement with various social amenities.
11.135 The Housing Directorate under the Housing Department at present maintains more than 33,400 rental flats of various categories constructed throughout West Bengal. 228 RHE Flats under RHE Projects at Bachurdoba, Jhargram (60 flats) & Hanuman Jute Mill, Siliguri (168 flats ) have already been completed during 2006-07. Further 574 RHE flats for State Government Employees are under construction in 7 locations viz., i) Kustia, Kolkata(16 flats), ii) Lake Gardens, Kolkata (8 flats ), (iii) Shampamirza Nagar (208 flats ), iv) Gumarmath, Budgebudge (152 flats ), v) Becharam Chatterjee Road, Kolkata (160 flats ), vi) Tamluk (12 flats), vii) Toofangunge, Coochbehar (18 flats ) by the Housing Directorate.Construction of 60 nos. of RHE flats at Khatra in Bankura’, 48 nos, of RHE flats at Bishnupur, Bankura (Phase-II) and 32 nos. of RHE flats at Tamluk(Phase-II) are expected to be taken up during 2006-07 for which administrative approval has already been accorded.
11.136 For such ongoing RHE projects this Department has already incurred an expenditure of Rs. 241.96 lakh during 2005-06 and Rs. 95.60 lakh during this current financial year 2006-07 (Up to January, 2007). A considerable amount is required every year for repair, replacement and renovation of these flats. Works for repair and renovation are taken up in phased manner. Expenditure of Rs. 334.46 lakh has been incurred during 2005-06 for this programme and Rs. 296.47 lakh has already been incurred as expenditure during 2006-07(Up to January, 2007).
11.137 Construction of night-shelter at Dinhata in Coochbehar (36 seats of accommodation) with project cost of Rs. 69 lakh is expected to be taken up during 2006-07. Construction of Working Women’s Hostel at Salt Lake (Phase-II) (122 seats of accommodation) with project cost of Rs. 177.30 lakh has been accorded administrative approval during the financial year 2005-06 and works for which has already been started during 2006-07.
11.138 Administrative approval of Rs. 69.40 lakh has been accorded during 2006-07 for construction of a Community Hall at LIG Housing Estate, Kustia and works for which is going to be started soon.
11.139 A sum of Rs. 152.40 lakh has been released by this department as subsidy during 2005-06 in favour of WBHIDCO towards their completed EWS Housing Projects, Phase – I (928 flats) and Phase – II (736 flats) at NewTown,Kolkata.Administrative approval of Rs. 244.80 lakh for construction of another Rental EWS Housing Projects, for economically weaker section of the community at Patulia in North 24-Parganas has been accorded during 2006-07 which awaits tender finalisation.
11.140 This Department has also Programme for land acquisition to set up New RHEs at Rampurhat and Ghatal during 2006-07. Rs. 6.14 lakh has been released so far during 2005-06 towards acquisition of land at two sites other than that of Ghatal and Rampurhat. This Department so far released Rs. 21.25 lakh up to January, 2007 towards land acquisition including setting up of RHE at Rampurhat.
11.141 A total expenditure of Rs. 852.11 lakh has been incurred during the financial year 2005-06 under the Plan Heads of Accounts towards execution of different schemes. During the current financial year, this Department already released Rs. 551.82 lakh up to January, 2007 towards execution of different schemes under Plan Heads.
11.142 The West Bengal Housing Board, a major Public Sector Organisation, has constructed flats for more than three decades for different categories of people of the state to meet the increasing demand of dwelling units.
11.143 This Board has constructed a total of 34039 dwelling units(EWS-1151, LIG-4782, MIG-12907, HIG-15199) up to March,2006 for different categories of people.
11.144 It is important to note that the Board has increased its activities in different districts, like industrial area in Asansol, Durgapur and including New Town, Kolkata. Further 3185 dwelling units are under construction by the Board (LIG-832, MIG-680, HIG-1673).
11.145 The annual budget for the West Bengal Housing Board during 2005-06 is Rs. 7640.34 lakh towards project implementation and Rs. 4420.00 lakh for acquisition of land. The annual budget for the West Bengal Housing Board during 2006-07 is Rs. 6783.30 lakh towards project implementation and Rs. 3661.65 lakh for acquisition of land.
11.146 Directorate of Brick Production is promoting production of bricks through mechanized process as well as manual process in different districts of West Bengal for the last 42 years.
11.147 The Mechanized Brick Factory at Palta was established in the year 1966 to utilize the readily available Gangatic silt from pre-settling tanks from nearby Palta Water Works of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and to produce quality bricks mechanically. Annual production by this Mechanized Brick Factory has been reduced to 50 lakh of bricks approximately per year owing to continuous operation of machineries of this factory for more than forty years
11.148 Under manual process, there are brick fields at Akra (South 24-Parganas), Raiganj (North Dinajpur), Majherchar at Kalyani (Nadia), Jalaghata and Boral (Hooghly), Amirpur and Kanchannagar (Burdwan) and Haldia (Purba Midnapur). As there are sufficient bricks and brick materials lying as stock, no further manufacturing of bricks could be made during 2005-06 and also during this year 2006-07. The Directorate of Brick Production realised Rs. 232.05 lakh during 2005-06 as sale proceeds of bricks so manufactured.
Joint Venture Companies
11.149 In order to mitigate the housing problem of the people, The Housing Department formed eight Joint Venture Companies between the Private Sectors and West Bengal Housing Board (WBHB) for construction of dwelling units providing them at affordable prices i.e.at least 50 per cent of which should be available to the people belonging to EWS, LIG and MIG categories). The names of 8 such Joint Venture Companies are:
Bengal Ambuja Housing Development Limited
Bengal Peerless Housing Development Company Limited
Bengal Shrachi Housing Development Limited
Bengal DCL Housing Development Company Limited
Bengal Greenfield Housing Development Company Limited
Bengal United Credit Belani Housing Limited
Bengal Park Chambers Housing Development limited
Bengal Shelter Housing Development Limited
Information on completed and ongoing projects so undertaken by the Joint Venture Companies is stated below.
Out of eight Joint Venture Companies , four such companies have already completed 17 Projects. The details of which are furnished below in Table 11.5