Delhi industries minister Ramakant Goswami faced his first litmus test in the Assembly fielding a volley of questions from both the Opposition and his own party MLAs on poor maintenance of industrial areas in the Capital on Wednesday.
A minister for less than a month, Goswami had a tough time answering questions, often fumbling, on issues related to lack of basic amenities in industrial areas notified by Delhi government a few years ago to ongoing illegal industrial units operating out of residential areas.
Unable to give proper replies to the MLAs questions, Goswami was rescued by chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who herself admitted infrastructure and other facilities at the industrial estates in the city were in bad shape and said efforts are on to improve the facilities there.
“The situation is bad in the industrial areas. The Delhi Development Authority and Union Urban Development department have yet to notify the guidelines for redevelopment of these industrial areas, which is hampering the process. We can still take up the basic issues,” Dikshit told MLAs.
The MLAs, however, came down heavily on the new industry minister who passed the buck to the Delhi Pollution Control Board and Municipal Corporation of Delhi for not taking action against illegal industrial units.
“We don’t have action taking powers. The DPCC and the MCD should remove such illegal units,” Goswami said.
The Delhi government had notified 22 areas, where concentration of industrial units was more than 70%.
Meanwhile, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party slammed the Delhi budget as “lacklustre”. Terming it a “well- written political speech”,
senior BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi said the government failed to address issues like unemployment, corruption and rising prices of essential commodities.
Trying to puncture chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s claim of all round development, Mukhi said a total of R11,200 crore was set aside for plan expenditure in the last year's budget but till last month various departments could spend only 67% of the allocation.
Alleging corruption in CWG spending, Mukhi claimed a total of “R76,000 crore was spent in the name of the Games, while and the actual cost of the event would not be more that R6,000 crore.”