Dr Kanwar Sain (50) of the BJP, who took charge as the 23rd mayor of Delhi last week, lists his priorities in a chat with Nivedita Khandekar.
Delhi is gearing up for Commonwealth Games 2010. What is the status of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) work related to the Games?
We are a bit slow in connection with work related to the Games. I plan to meet all officers concerned and ask them to speed up the work.
Thousands of tourists are expected in Delhi for the Games. The door-to-door garbage collection scheme is yet to take off and keeping roads clean is a major issue. Will filthy roads greet the visitors?
We are going to launch a ‘Clean Delhi’ campaign after the polls. The door-to-door garbage collection scheme is about to be implemented as well. Till then, we plan to change the open dhalao (bin) system. Dhalaos will be cleaned as early as 5.30-6 am. With the cooperation of residents and other government agencies, I’m sure Delhi will be as clean as Singapore by the Games.
A lot of illegal construction is going on around the city. How do you plan to stop it?
I plan to move the Union Urban Development Ministry to bring an amendment in the laws, so as to allow sanction of plans after division of plots. As this is not allowed now, it leads to corruption and illegal construction. Legalising it would end such practices and increase the MCD’s revenue.
What about rampant encroachment?
Our licensing committee is still working on a policy and we would be coming out with a plan after the polls. I will also write to Delhi’s police commissioner and ask him to direct his SHOs/ beat officers to be alert.
The day you took charge, you said health and education are on your agenda of priorities. MCD hospitals and schools are in the news mostly for wrong reasons. How can you improve this?
My aim is to start specialised medical services — open-heart surgery and dialysis to name just two — at MCD-run hospitals. As for education, I dream of bringing MCD schools on a par with private schools and will take all steps necessary to bring about the turnaround.
The city’s vehicular population is increasing by the day and people are worried about the lack of proper parking facilities. How will you tackle this problem?
By legalising unauthorised parking lots. This will (also) increase the MCD’s revenue. I had successfully tried this when I headed the Shahdara (S) zone committee.