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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Monitor for flats under quota

The state government has formed a five-member committee to monitor distribution of flats under the housing minister's quota.

Vice-chairman of West Bengal Housing Board R.N. Roychowdhury will head the panel. Hidco general manager Pradyut Biswas, officer-on-special duty, Hidco, Alok Sarkar, secretary of West Bengal Housing Board D. Saha and the housing minister's private secretary Pranab Dasgupta will be part of the committee.

The main function of the panel will be to scrutinise the applications seeking flats under the minister's quota.

Housing minister Goutam Deb, who is also chairman of Hidco and the state housing board, is entitled to allot five per cent of the flats built by the housing board, through joint ventures or otherwise.

The board is currently engaged in construction of estates on EM Bypass, New Town, Howrah and Durgapur. It has also joined hands with private builders to develop estates in Calcutta, New Town, Siliguri, Haldia and several other places. The majority of the flats are to be allotted through lottery.

Distribution of flats under the quota used to be at the sole discretion of the minister. The panel was formed after the urban development department was rapped by the court and the Opposition over allocation of land in Salt Lake under the chief minister's quota.

The government has also come up with a policy of allotting flats under the minister's quota. As per the policy, people of 12 categories will be entitled to get flats under the quota.

The categories consist of those who have been displaced by the project, gallantry award-winners, freedom fighters, social workers involved in rural development, literacy promotion, healthcare of mother and children, care for the aged, office-bearers of recognised political parties and elected representatives in various levels of the government, those belonging to the weaker sections of the society (SC/ST/ OBC), religious and linguistic minorities and the physically handicapped.

Eminent persons in law, medicine, journalism, engineering, civil service, finance, literature, art, architecture, cinema, music, culture, sports and related fields are also eligible.

Advocating the quota system in the allotment of land, Deb said the system ensured accommodation of certain categories of people in any township or housing estate even if they have failed in procuring flats by lottery.

'Our move was aimed at maintaining transparency in allotment of flats under the minister's quota,' he added.

'We will invite applications through newspaper advertisements. The panel will decide on the allotment after going through the applications. The selection will be on the basis of priority and availability of flats,' said panel member Pranab Dasgupta.

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