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Montek has all the answers

delhi Updated: Apr 23, 2007 22:37 IST
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If Delhi is looking for a solution to its problems, vice-chairperson Planning Commission Montek Singh Aluwalia seems to have a plethora of solutions.

He wants Delhi government to incorporate consumer satisfaction norms in the new agreements to be signed by distcoms next year. Aluwalia has also advised the city government to conduct a survey of efficiency and consumer satisfaction levels attained by the distcoms. "This provides an opportunity for reviewing the agreements for better serving the needs of consumers and for upgradation of distribution system," he said, in a letter written to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Aluwalia also asked Delhi Government to keep in mind uncertainty over supply of gas at a reasonable price while planning to set up new power plants in the Capital. He, however, admitted that Delhi has been forced to face power shortfall because of unauthorised withdrawal of power from northern grid by some other states.

The letter also wants Delhi government to look at the option of transferring electricity, water and sewerage to the local bodies and has sought specific proposal from the government in this regard. He admitted that multiplicity of authorities was, in a way, blocking speedy development of the Capital into a global city.

The vice-chairperson has three other major issues --- dirty Yamuna, shortage of drinking water and city's chaotic traffic --- on his agenda. Appreciating Delhi Jal Board's proposal for interceptor sewer, Aluwalia cautioned against designing an in house system and instead wanted DJB to appoint a consultant with an expertise in the area. He is also against the Jal Board's proposal to construct huge walls along the drains and instead want drains to be covered and green area to be developed around them.

Aluwalia also believes that water supply for Sonia Vihar water treatment plant will remain uncertain and therefore, asked the city government for options like building a concrete lining of the canal from Munakpur to Haiderpur to provide adequate drinking water to the citizens.

On traffic, he assured that the commission will assist the government in planning multi-modal transport system constituting of ring railway, high capacity bus service, mono rail and light rail transit system. "Look at the traffic scenario of Delhi in the next 20 years," he has suggested.

After giving 70 per cent hike in plan allocation for Delhi for the current financial year, Singh wants the city government to keep his suggestions in mind when they come to meet him to discuss proposals for the 11th five-year plan.