It’s been nearly four months since the Manmohan Singh government asked the state to carry out an overall revision of the below poverty line (BPL) lists in Kolkata.But there has been little progress in this regard with the civic officials citing a man power crunch as the hurdle in moving ahead.
Pointing out that adequate manpower is necessary in such an elaborate job, involving physical checking and re-checking of the BPL list and the supplementary list, a senior Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) official said, “It is not our priority at the moment.”
Sources said that a government of India sample survey says that the KMC area should ideally have a 14.5% BPL population. However, the BPL list published in 2010 by the then Left Front board and the supplementary one published in 2012 by the Trinamool Congress board say that the BPL population is 19% of the total population.
“Statistics makes it clear that our list contains the names of an additional 4.5% BPL population and it needs to be rectified immediately to ensure free flow of central funding for this section of society,” a senior official involved in compiling the list said.
While the social sector department had towards April end asked for 280 personnel to carry out the checking of the total 2.17 lakh BPL households, the personnel department had expressed its inability to allocate that many heads for this job. “It is not possible to allocate personnel other than teachers and that, too, is possible only during school vacations,” deputy municipal commissioner (personnel) A Bandopadhyay said.
But refusing to spare teachers for the job, the civic education department added that the former are engaged in other assignments during vacations.
Sources said the BPL list published in 2010 has recorded around 1.83 lakh households and a 8.14 lakh BPL population in Kolkata. The supplementary BPL list registered around 34,000 households and a 1.57 lakh population in addition to the earlier list, social sector department records say.
“It is an accepted fact that there are double entries in the BPL list. All we need is to verify the numbers and de-list some people in case of repetition. Between 2010 and 2013, many families may be upgraded to above poverty line or APL category and such an identification would help us strike of their names,” a senior KMC official said.