CMC lease right forms in 2 weeks
The Calcutta Municipal Corporation will begin distributing forms in a fortnight’s time seeking information about thika tenants and their bharatiyas (occupiers), taking a step towards implementing the government’s announcement earlier this year that tenants on thika land would be given lease rights.
Mayor Firhad Hakim said the forms would be available at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s headquarters.
Thika tenancy land belonged to zamindars but the government took over (vested) the ownership of the plots after the zamindari system was abolished in the 1950s. People living on these plots were granted tenancy rights in 1982 by the Left Front government.
In March this year, the Mamata Banerjee government decided to give long-term lease to thika tenants, a right that would enable the tenants to access loan from banks to develop multi-storeyed buildings on these plots.
Metro had reported in March that the government also decided to abolish the height restriction of 9.5 metres on a new building coming up on thika land.
“The government has decided to grant lease to the thika tenants. We would soon start distributing forms from civic offices to the tenants where they need to provide information about themselves and bharatiyas,” Hakim, who is also the state urban development minister, said on Wednesday.
A meeting between civic officials and land department officials was held at the mayor’s office on Wednesday.
A senior official of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), who was present in Wednesday’s meeting, said that a gazette notification would be issued in a month where the two changes — granting lease rights and abolition of 9.5 metres height — would be incorporated.
Once the gazette notification is issued, the changes would come into effect.
“The thika tenants can now erect tall buildings on these plots, for which they would need a bank loan. Earlier, when they had only tenancy rights, they could not access bank loans,” said the official.
He added that the CMC would ensure that the bharatiyas do not lose their right of residence in the new buildings.
“In the forms, the tenants have to declare the details about bharatiyas living on that land. We would inspect our records and also conduct physical verification to find out if the declarations are true or false,” said the CMC official, adding that a plan to erect a new building would be approved by the corporation only after the authenticity of the tenant and occupants is proven.
According to the official, while the government would grant long-term lease to the tenants, the tenants, in turn, would be able to grant sub-lease rights to the occupants or bharatiyas.
“The entire agreement would have the government’s seal of approval,” added the official.
The CMC also plans to provide special privilege of constructing additional walled space in the new buildings, compared to what non-thika land of same size would get.
This is similar to the special privilege granted if old and dilapidated structures are pulled down to build new structures in their places.