Eyeing the 50-lakh strong migrant population in Delhi, which has now become a strong vote bank, the Congress has promised a host of sops to make their lives better.
New houses for economically weaker sections, in-situ development of slum clusters, a policy on street vendors and hawkers, improvement of civic amenities and better infrastructure in all urban villages and unauthorised-regularised colonies are some of the promises that the Congress has made to woo migrants.
Extending the benefits of subsidised water on consumption up to 40 kilolitres of water, setting up a board for the unorganised workers, bringing domestic workers, railway porters, ragpickers under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and setting up a dormitory for temporary stay to labourers who come from others states are some other promises aimed at the migrant population.
Releasing the manifesto on Tuesday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said almost 5 lakh people come to Delhi every year and work here. "Those who come to Delhi get a job here and never go back. Delhi is mini India. Providing them good housing facility is a major challenge and we will work on it in the next five years," she said.
Dikshit said hawkers and petty vendors are harassed by police and municipal authorities. "We will earmark hawking zones so that they could work without any fear," she said. She added that her party will go for in-situ development instead of relocating slum dwellers to outer parts of the city.
Dikshit said her government would strive for making the NCR a common economic zone. "There should be a common tax regime for Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and other NCR towns," she said.
Continuing its focus on improving infrastructure, the Congress has also promised double-decker flyovers, expansion of metro network and construction of monorail and tram in the city. "All of us are worried about growing traffic jams. We will build double decker flyovers — elevated roads over the existing flyovers — to reduce traffic jams," she said.
The ruling party also promised several new schemes for women and senior citizens. The chief minister said her government will start Qabil Laadli - an extension of the existing Laadli scheme in which girl students are given scholarship - and give Rs. 50,000 to girls for their graduation or skill development studies.
Dikshit said Delhi has become the most prosperous city in past few years. "The GDP of Delhi has grown at 10.33% in past five years while the national average has been 8.33%. We want to double the GDP growth in the next five years," she said.
Congress general secretary and in-charge of Delhi Shakeel Ahmad said Congress manifesto is close to reality. "Other political parties have promised the moon because they know they can't form the government. We are making promises which are achievable," he said.