After strengthening the public transport system by introducing the Delhi Metro and low-floor buses and giving Delhi some respite from the frequent traffic jams by constructing new roads and flyovers, the Delhi government will now focus on social sector and administrative reforms.
In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said improving the social sector is now one of her top priorities.
“The sector that we have not been able to reach out satisfactorily — not that we have not reached… but the changes we want to see have not yet come about — is the social sector,” the chief minister said.
Dikshit said her government was working on a plan to restructure and efficiently manage homes for the destitute, beggars, women and children.
“We have 28 homes. The amount that the government is spending on them is not reaching them,” Dikshit said.
“So, I am going to start visitors’ committees in each one of these houses. We will also look at the input and the output of these institutions,” she added.
“We have already started work in this direction and I think in a month’s time, we should be able to do it,” Dikshit said further.
The government had earlier planned to invite private participation in managing some of these homes such as Ashakiran — which houses mentally challenged persons. However, it has now decided to have special committees with senior officers on board to manage them.
Housing for the economically weaker sections, said Dikshit, was another priority her government was working on. While the Delhi government will be able to allot about 15,000 houses to people belonging to the weaker sections, Dikshit’s government has also approved construction of 35,000 more such houses for a cost of R1,900 crore, which will be ready in the next two years.
While the face of Delhi has completely changed in the past decade, Dikshit said that her government still has a long way to go. Living up to the growing expectations of people, said Dikshit, was one of the biggest challenge her government faces.
“We have to meet people’s expectations. For example, five years ago, nobody expected AC buses on Delhi roads but now they expect automatic ticketing. We are not saying we have done everything. In any growing city, there are new challenges which go on and on,” Dikshit said.
However, Dikshit said making Delhi a completely e-governed state is her government’s dream. “One thing I would like to achieve is an e-governed state — which will make Delhi a cleaner, better-managed state.”