Aiming at reviving the tea industry and increasing employment opportunities, the West Bengal cabinet, on October 31, 2019, decided that 15% of land of a tea garden can be used for construction works. A maximum of 150 acres of land of a tea estate can be allowed, for construction works, senior minister Partha Chatterjee said, after the state cabinet meeting held at the secretariat, ‘Nabanna’. “Keeping employability and tea production in mind and adhering to the plantation law, the state cabinet today decided that construction works can be carried out at 15% of land of a tea garden,” Chatterjee said. The decision will ‘definitely help eco-friendly tourism, boost employability and revive the tea industry’, the minister said.
The cabinet also approved a proposal to allow a thika tenant to become a leaseholder of a property. The thika tenants currently do not get loans to develop the property where they stay. “Keeping this in mind, the cabinet decided to allow a thika tenant to become a leaseholder. This will enable them to apply for a loan to a bank or a cooperative, to develop the property. However, in this process, the thika leaseholder has to take those staying on rent in the property as a thika assignee,” city mayor and state urban development and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim said.
West Bengal government gives in-principle nod to amend Thika Tenancy Act
The West Bengal cabinet has given its in-principle approval, to amend the West Bengal Thika Tenancy (Acquisition and Regulation) Act, to facilitate people living on ‘thika tenancy land’ to construct a house and make alterations
March 8, 2019: The West Bengal cabinet, on March 7, 2019, gave an in-principle approval for an amendment to the West Bengal Thika Tenancy (Acquisition and Regulation) Act, which would allow inhabitants of ‘thika tenancy land’, mostly in the slum areas of Kolkata, Howrah and Asansol, to build G+4 structures, doing away with the present rule of constructing a fixed height of 9.5 metres (two-storey houses). A thika tenancy land is a plot which the government possessed after the zamindari system was abolished.
“We will have to send the proposal to the Law Department and then to the Finance Department, before placing it in the assembly,” the state’s urban development minister, Firhad Hakim said. “The cabinet Thursday approved in principle that people and tenants living on such land under thika tenancy which are mostly slum areas should be allowed to build structures beyond the existing 9.5 metres,” Hakim, who is also the mayor of Kolkata, said.
Around 50,000 people residing on 200 acres of land in Kolkata and 517 acres in Howrah, would now be allowed to build residential structures conforming to the respective corporation building rules, Hakim said. The inhabitants and the tenants, mostly in slum areas of Burrabazar, Aharitola, Jadavpur, Chetla and Topsia in the city, would be allowed to build G+4 residential buildings on their own, he said. Hakim said that as per the proposal, the land owner and the tenant would be able to make alterations but no promoter can be engaged in the construction.
A group of ministers, under the chairmanship of finance minister Amit Mitra, was set up to propose the amendments to the West Bengal Thika Tenancy (Acquisition and Regulation) Act. Meanwhile, Mitra said that the cabinet also decided to select Dubai-based DP World, to set up the Kulpi Port in South 24 Parganas district. The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) would own a stake of 11 per cent in the venture, Mitra said.