Minorities comprise around 27% of BPL population, a survey by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has found out. The civic body’s social sector department had carried out this confidential survey aimed to usher in centrally sponsored development schemes in wards with more than 20% BPL minorities.
The survey done on urban poor, reveals that 26.93% of the population under Below Poverty Level (BPL) category comprise minorities with 23.31% households identified as minority households. The Trinamool Congress board at the civic body had undertaken the first-ever initiative to identify exact the population of minorities under KMC area. The population of Kolkata is around 45 lakh out of which around 8.5 lakh are (19%) under the poverty line.
The civic body survey revealed that 42,356 people are identified as minorities amongst 1,57,264 BPL population enlisted in the supplementary BPL List 2012.
Amongst 33,973 urban poor households, 7,920 households count as minority families. Another revealing fact in the survey puts that 42 wards amongst the 141 wards of KMC have more than 20% minority population again with highly pre-dominance of Muslim population. In ward 139 in Garden Reach area minorities account for 99% of the BPL population.
The 27-point survey to identify BPL category featured queries like income of an individual and the household, whether household has power connection, facilities of latrines and toilets, how far do a family have to go to fetch drinking water, whether the road in front of the house is pucca or kachha, etc.
Following the footsteps of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s stand to target development at the minorities, mayor Sovan Chatterjee too is keen to please them. KMC authorities are planning big with multisectoral development project (MSDP) for the minorities in Kolkata.
According to rules of MSDP, wards with more than 20% BPL minority population qualify for these projects.
MSDP projects include construction of ‘pay & use’ toilets, community toilets, construction of anganwari (integrated child development scheme) centres, setting up of ward health units, introducing new Urdu medium schools, construction of Muslim boys and girls hostels, etc.
The extensive survey exposes that the Muslim’s domicile at the Kolkata slums highly lacks the basic infrastructure of proper sewerage and drainage and drinking water facilities.
The prevailing health and hygiene condition in the Muslim dominated slums in the city are worst, says the civic survey report.