Patna: The issue of people living in unauthorised manner at Gardanibagh government housing land in Patna reached chief minister Nitish Kumar as CPI-ML legislators took it up with him at his official chamber on the Legislative Assembly premises, pleading for allotting them 10 per cent of the land there.
“We are sensitive towards the issues related to the poor, but we cannot give 10 per cent land of the Gardanibagh housing project as the entire land has already been allotted for the residences of judges, ministers and government employees. The auditor-general had also cited space crunch and asked for some space and we have allotted a portion to them also,” Nitish told CPI-ML legislators Mehboob Alam, Sudama Prasad and Satyadev Ram.
“However, I have directed the urban development and housing department to look into the matter and arrange accommodation for them at some other place. The department has a housing scheme for the urban poor,” Nitish added.
The chief minister said the government work and the number of employees was increasing and the government was hard-pressed to arrange accommodation for them.
Nitish added that construction of 7.5 lakh houses for the people will start in the next few days and said that the state government was determined to provide tap water, electricity, roads to everybody in rural areas, and three decimal land to the landless homeless people, which would remove the need for the people to migrate from villages to cities.
Though the three CPI-ML legislators argued that the government should provide 10 per cent land to the unauthorised dwellers in Gardanibagh, they relented as Nitish said they could be accommodated at some other location in the expanding Patna. At present, the residential quarters for government employees spread over 268 acres, are being demolished as part of the plan to redevelop it as a township that will have housing units for judges, ministers, senior administrative officials and subordinate employees. The project is expected to be completed by 2020-21.
Though government employees have resided there, the workers used in constructing the quarters, as well as, other unskilled and semi-skilled people who migrated from rural areas, also settled on the spacious land and have been living there for the past several decades. They are facing an eviction suit by the government in its effort to clear the land for township.
Later, Mehboob said: “The labourers who worked to build Gardanibagh government quarters around 70 to 80 years ago settled there. Their family members have been living there since that time and work in the neighbouring households and localities as maids, servants, and labourers. The government has cut their water and electricity connections in an attempt to evict them. This is inhuman.”
Courtesy: The Telegraph