After abolishing the Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco)’s chairman quota for allotment of plots and flats, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday treaded the same path for Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) as well.
After a KMDA board meeting on Tuesday, mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who is also the KMDA vicechairman, said there will be no quota for distributing LIG and MIG flats. The meeting was chaired by the chief minister, who is also the KMDA chairman.
Incidentally, urban development minister Firhad Hakim is not on the board in contrast to predecessor Asok Bhattacharya, who was the KMDA chairman.
From now, all flats will be allotted only through lotteries. A committee will be formed to scrutinize the process of handing over flats that have been distributed under the chairman’s quota till date.
Many MIG and LIG flats have been allotted to several persons under the chairman’s quota during the Left regime. The KMDA has constructed several MIG and LIG houses in Baisnabhghata Patuli township, Salt Lake, Kalyani and Barrackpore that have been allotted both through lotteries and the chairman’s quota. Many of the flats have been allotted at very nominal prices. Most flats have been allotted under the chairman’s quota in the last 10 years during the real estate boom.
Another important decision the board took was to keep out any politician from KMDA’s tender committee that invites applications for executing projects. The tender committee will now comprise the municipal affairs and urban development principal secretary and KMDA’s CEO. Earlier, during the Left-run government, politicians were on the tender committee and allegations were raised over transparency of its functioning.
Among the other decisions taken was to bring the Kolkata Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority (KMWSA) and the Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) under the KMDA for more synergy in executing urban development plans.
The authorities have also planned to beautify waterbodies along the E M Bypass near Ruby Hospital that are lying in neglect for many years. Discussions were also held on overall beautification of the city’s water bodies. There was also a discussion on sewerage and drainage systems in Howrah.
Secretary of Development Employees’ Joint Action Committee P B Nag welcomed the authority’s decision to abolish the chairman’s quota. “We welcome the decision. It will bring in more transparency,” he said.
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