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Delhi assembly Day 2: House begins business

delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2009 01:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Delhi assembly focused on governance issues on Thursday after a stormy start on Wednesday.

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders took up issues ranging from transport, regularisation of unauthorised colonies and construction of flyovers and roads.

Transport

The Delhi government told the House on Thursday that it has already phased out 1111 Blueline buses in the city.

Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the number of Blueline buses was down from 3,656 in September 2007 to 2,545 in 2009. "We have replaced Blueline buses with DTC on 292 routes," Lovely said in reply to a query.

Lovely also told the house that 657 routes had been divided among 17 bus clusters each of which would be operated by a private firm. He said 625 non-AC and 25 AC buses run on CNG had been purchased at a cost of Rs 266 crore. "We will get 6,600 buses operating in Delhi before Commonwealth Games 2010," Lovely said.

Illegal colonies

The BJP pointed fingers at the government over the delay in regularising unauthorised colonies that had already been granted provisional certificates.

Delhi Finance and Urban Development Minister A.K. Walia, however, said the government had already made an allocation of Rs 786 crore for work in unauthorised colonies in 2009-10.

Walia also told the House that work on roads and drains had been completed in 1,033 colonies, while water supply was provided in another 726 and sewerage facilities provided in another 29.

Walia said the government had already sent the demarcated boundaries of 874 colonies to the MCD. He said in regularisation was because of the time consumed in verifying details. "It is a complex situation and takes a lot of time for verifications to be completed," said Walia.

Bills tabled

The government tabled the new Delhi Excise Bill 2009 that recommends sterner financial penalties for offences like brewing spurious liquor and drinking in public.

Among other measures, the Bill proposes a penalty of Rs 5,000 against public drinking.

Apart from punishment ranging from life imprisonment to death for those causing deaths by selling spurious liquor, it also said the accused would have to compensate the victims from their pockets.

The government also tabled a notification for raising the VAT on gutkha and tobacco from 12.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

It also made a proposal for waiving luxury tax in hotels for delegates attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Heated moments in Assembly

There were some heated moments in the Assembly, when BJP's Sahib Singh Chauhan decided to rile Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by quoting Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal's earlier statement that the money being spent on building the Signature Bridge could be spent to build four bridges.

"The DPCC chairman is not a member of this House, I request you to delete this reference," Dikshit told Delhi Assembly Speaker Yoganand Shastri. "You can't name him, you can't quote him no matter what he says," said Dikshit.