Delhi health minister Kiran Walia found herself in a soup during the Question Hour in the Assembly on Tuesday, even as the Opposition bench remained empty following the BJP’s eviction from the House last week.
Her colleagues, fellow Congress MLAs minced no words while criticising the health department for delaying several proposals for constructing hospitals across the Capital.
It started when Congress MLA Devendra Yadav raised a starred question asking for the status of a proposed hospital at Siraspur in northwest Delhi.
Speaker Yoganand Shastri, who was the health minister before Walia, had laid the foundation stone for the hospital in the run up to the Assembly elections in 2008.
In her reply, Walia said there were some “legal formalities” related to the project. But work was on and directions have been issued to official concerned, she said. However, Shastri, who was aware of the case, said there was no injunction and Walia should give “only correct answers on the floor of the House”.
While Walia explained that she did not mean that there was any stay, several Congress MLAs stood up and demanded clarification.
Legislator Ramakant Goswami said the minister should explain what exactly did she mean by court proceedings and asked her to explain the reasons behind the delay in construction.
“How many years will it take to construct a hospital after laying of foundation stone?” he asked.
The health minister maintained that several problems like removal of shanties
and other bottlenecks slowed down hospital construction process. Later during special mentions, another Congress MLA Veer Singh Dhingan started to speak on the problems of government school teachers, who are not being able to devote full time to teaching as they were being deputed for welfare scheme works.
Meanwhile, the Speaker asked the government to “encourage” sportspersons. The matter was raised by MLA Surender Kumar, who pointed out that the government is yet to announce any monetary prize for Asian and Commonwealth Games medalists even though Haryana has already rewarded them.