Did more in 8 years than other govts did in 65: Kejriwal
During his 30-minute speech, the Delhi chief minister listed a series of works that have been undertaken during the AAP tenure
New Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the Delhi model has provided a glimmer of hope for the country, and has showed that an “honest and educated” government can deliver for the people, as he laid down targets to transform the Capital into a “saaf, sunder aur adhunik” (clean, beautiful and modern) city within two years.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back, saying that every year, the Delhi government fails to keep the promises it makes in the Budget.
Concluding the discussion on the Delhi Budget 2023-24 in the assembly, Kejriwal said his Aam Aadmi Party-led government has in its eight-year tenure delivered on a wide range of parameters, claiming that this is equivalent of the work undertaken by previous governments over a period of 65 years.
Kejriwal said, “We are the most honest government in the country. The quantum of development works that were taken up during the 65 years after the independence (of the country), we have completed double the amount of those works over the last eight years (of our government)... The amount of progress done by Delhi over the last eight years is double the work done over the last 65 years...”
He added, “Over the next two years, an equal amount of speedy progress will be made which will be a matter of record books.”
During his 30-minute speech, the chief minister listed a series of works that have been undertaken during the AAP tenure. “Everyone knows about education and health but our government has done equally well on other counts,” he said. “Our Budget is in the positive despite our providing free education, water, electricity, pilgrimage and ration. In their (BJP-run states) case, nothing is free for public but governments are running in losses of several lakh crores.”
He added that his government’s Delhi model “shines” because of the lack of corruption and the subsidies it provides, adding that this brings relief from inflation.
Kejriwal said the Budget will enable his government to execute the same quantum of works over the next two years. “We are investing ₹21,000 crore on infrastructure, street beautification, clean up and maintenance. In one year, people will not be able to find a single pothole on the streets, and dust pollution will go down by 30%,” he said.
The chief minister also said 1,600 electric buses will hit the streets this year, making Delhi a city with the most electric buses. “By 2025, we will have 10,480 buses, with 80% of this fleet electric. This will be most in the world, and we will even leave China behind,” he added.
Kejriwal said the city’s three landfill sites at Bhalswa, Okhla and Ghazipur will be cleared by December 2024. “When BJP ruled the MCD, it was estimated that it would take 197 years to clear up these ‘mountains’. I commit to you that we will do it by December next year. In their time, Delhi came at the bottom of the sanitation index, but I assure you we will beat Indore to become the cleanest city in the country. We will also revamp MCD schools and hospitals,” he said.
Kejriwal said the cleaning of the Yamuna will be expedited, with the treatment of sewage increasing from 632 million gallons a day to 890 in one year. “Every water treatment plant, every reservoir and booster station will have flow meter to detect leakage and wastage and this will be completed over 3-4 months,” he said.
He also took a quip at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “We have done a lot of work for the education of children. I will request education minister Atishi to work on the education of adults,”
Leader of the opposition in the Delhi assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri hit back at Kejriwal, saying, “Every year, promises are made and then they are forgotten. No implementation is done on the promises made in the Budget. They had promised to provide employment to 2 million people in five years, but even four people did not get a job. A provision of ₹250 crore was made for setting up a shopping festival in Delhi, but the whereabouts of the festival is not known…”
He added that that the central government spends more than ₹1.5 lakh crore on various schemes and departments in Delhi.