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House scheme for poor

Bakkhali (South 24-Parganas), Feb. 26: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today launched a housing scheme for the economically weak in the general category who do not come under the BPL list.

Under the scheme — Adhikaar — each beneficiary will get Rs 48,500 to build a house with a room and a toilet. The beneficiaries will have to own land and have a monthly income less than Rs 6,000.

At a programme in Bakkhali, Mamata gave cheques to five beneficiaries from Namkhana.

“We have done a lot for people living below the poverty line and those from the other backward classes, SC/ST and minorities. But there is another section from the general caste that is economically backward. There can be no discrimination among the poor,” the chief minister said.

Mamata announced a plan to set up a development board for the Namkhana-Sagar Island-Bakkhali-Frasergunj area.

Money received under the Backward Regions Grant Fund would be used to support the programme. “The scheme is for the economically weaker sections in the 11 backward districts,” a senior official said.

Government sources said the scheme would run parallel to other housing schemes such as the centrally sponsored Indira Awaas Yojana and the state’s Nijo Bhumi Nijo Griha.

Speaking on the development board for the region, which falls under the Sunderbans, Mamata said: “Apart from the panchayat samitis, the board will look into the development projects in Namkhana, Sagar Island, Bakkhali and Frasergunj. Tourism will be developed.”