With a view to provide proper shelters, free of cost, to the poor, the Government in Housing Department has laid proper focus on construction of houses for the Economically Weaker Section of people. This scheme is being implemented in rural areas by 6(Six) Departments, viz. , a)Minority Affairs & Madrasah Education Department, b) Backward Classes Welfare Department, c) Fisheries Department, d) Forest Department, e) Sundarban Affairs Department and f) Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs Department and non-Municipal urban areas by statutory organizations viz. WBHB, WBHIDCO etc. under the name of ‘Geetanjali' and ‘Amar Thikana' in rural area is being implemented by P& RD Department..
The main objective of the two schemes is to provide proper shelters to the economically weaker section of society as well as to create additional employment opportunities for construction workers, etc. The cost of such dwelling units for new construction on beneficiary's land in rural areas varies across the span and terrain of the state as follows owing to different soil and climatic conditions: a) Rs. 1.67 lakh for beneficiaries in general residing in Rural areas of plains; b) Rs. 1.94 lakh for beneficiaries residing in the notified Sundarban areas; c) Rs. 2.51 lakh for beneficiaries residing within the notified Hill areas of Darjeeling District and d) Rs. 3.00 lakh within the Forest villages of Jalpaiguri District.
The cost of such dwelling units for new construction in Non-Municipal Semi-Urban areas are as follows: a) Rs. 1.67 lakh - for single -storied building on beneficiary's land and b) Rs. 3.30 lakh - for Multi-Storied building on the land of implementing Government agencies or Government land.
Panchayat and Rural Development Department is implementing the scheme ‘Amar Thikana' at a unit cost of Rs. 70,000/- for the plains and Rs. 75,000/- in Hills, difficult and coastal areas.
Initially half of the approved amount is allotted. After receiving the utilization certificate as well as a physical progress report of the earlier allotted amount, the rest amount is allotted. The motto of the Government is to provide "Sabar Mathar Upare Chhad".
The Government has given Special stress to mitigate the housing problem of the distressed and deprived people for a long tenure. The objective of the Government is to construct fully subsidized residential houses for the people belonging to Minority Community, Fishermen and people belonging to Economically Weaker Section in Sundarban and Paschimanchal areas.
In the course of implementing the scheme, our Department is facing problems like effective monitoring as well as speedy and uniformity in implementation throughout the State of West Bengal. To overcome this, with effect from 01st April,2014"AMAR THIKANA" has been merged with " GEETANJALI " and the only Scheme in the name " GEETANJALI " is being implemented through District Magistrates. As per approval of Finance Department the unit Cost is Rs. 70000 (Seventy thousand) for the plain and Rs. 75000 (Seventy five thousand) in Hills/ difficult and Sundarban areas.