Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unveils an Ashokan Pillar on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day in the premises of the Delhi Legislative Assembly in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unveils an Ashokan Pillar on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day in the premises of the Delhi Legislative Assembly in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

Doorstep delivery of rations in Delhi by March this year: CM Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: The Delhi government’s ambitious doorstep delivery of ration service will be launched by March, and all of the residents of the city will get health cards by the end of this year, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday, during an address at a Republic Day event at the Delhi secretariat
By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 04:09 AM IST

The Delhi government’s ambitious doorstep delivery of ration service will be launched by March, and all of the residents of the city will get health cards by the end of this year, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday, during an address at a Republic Day event at the Delhi secretariat.

Hailing the Capital’s medical infrastructure and staff, Kejriwal also said Delhi’s health care system “did not collapse” even as it bore the brunt of one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world.

“On November 11, there were 8,500 Corona cases in a single day in Delhi, the highest in any city across the world. No city had witnessed these many cases in a day. And yet, Delhi’s health care system did not collapse. Even on that day, Delhi had 7,000 Covid-19 beds vacant in hospitals. In the first week of April in New York City had 6,300 cases and you all must have seen on social media how the entire health system of New York collapsed during the outbreak. The hospitals were fully equipped and patients were in queues outside hospitals,” he said.

Kejriwal said the Capital’s health system was able to tackle the surge in cases due to the “reforms and investment” made by the Delhi government in recent years, he said.

Due to the pandemic, the government, in a first, did not organise the annual Republic Day event at Chhatrasal Stadium. Even Independence Day celebrations last year were restricted to flag hoisting and a speech by the CM at the Delhi secretariat, owing to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lauding the city administration’s move to introduce home isolation for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic Covid-19 patients, which he said took some load off the hospitals, Kejriwal said Delhi has so far treated 312,425 people under home isolation during the pandemic. In addition, 4,929 people received plasma therapy, first introduced across the country by the Delhi government at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, he said.

By March, Kejriwal said, the Delhi government will roll out its flagship doorstep rations delivery programme, which he claimed would “revolutionise” the ration distribution system in the city.

By the end of this year, the government will also issue health cards, under which all health records of a Delhi resident will be stored.

“The system will start from all Delhi government hospitals and mohalla clinics first, and later be expanded to private facilities. Government and private hospitals will be connected to the Health Information Management System and residents will be able to get an online appointment to consult doctors without waiting in queues at hospitals,” Kejriwal said.

The chief minister said despite drying up of tax revenue due to the pandemic, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government managed to pay salaries to its employees and continue its flagship schemes, including free power and electricity supply.

In the last billing cycle, 3.8 million households got zero power bills, while 1.4 million domestic consumers received zero bills for water supply.

“At a time when people lost their livelihoods, the Delhi government paid their employees and arranged for money from various sources and provided dry ration to 1 crore people every month. At least 10 lakh people were provided cooked food every day, the arrangements were made in schools. We deposited 5,000 each in the bank accounts of auto and taxi drivers during the lockdown. Around 1,56,000 auto and taxi drivers received this financial assistance, and no other state government did it. We deposited 10,000 each in bank accounts of around 44000 construction workers. We arranged for food and medicines for anyone in need,” Kejriwal said.

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