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On AAP govt’s third anniversary, Kejriwal promises free WiFi in Delhi, better roads and clean air

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government will focus more on landscaping to control air pollution, invest more in road construction and repair and set up 900 ‘mohalla clinics’.

delhi Updated: Feb 14, 2018 23:37 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
AAP government 3 years,Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi government
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, speaker Ram Niwas Goel and Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai at a function on the completion of three years of the Aam Aadmi Party government, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

In the remaining two years of its tenure, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will renew its focus on building road infrastructure and checking air pollution apart from health and education sectors, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.

At a function to mark the third anniversary of his government, Kejriwal also announced that the ambitious free WiFi project will be launched a year from now while the installation of 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras will begin next month.

“This year will witness massive investment to improve the condition of roads and drains and building new roads. By the end of this year, roads and drains-related works, especially in unauthorised colonies, will be completed,” Kejriwal said in his address at the event at the NDMC Convention Centre where the CM along with the council of ministers took questions from the public through phone calls and social media.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led party stormed to power with an overwhelming majority of 67 seats in a 70-member house in 2015. Currently, however, the party is staring at a likely mini-election after its 20 lawmakers were disqualified last month over allegedly holding offices of profit. The matter is currently subjudice.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia spoke at length about the government’s achievements in increasing revenue collection and improving education. “Last year, we collected around R 32,000 crore in revenue and now we are setting a target of R 48,000 crore. Also, I have been informed that the PMO has sought a report on our education reforms,” he said.

In his over 45-minute speech, Kejriwal highlighted the achievements of his government in areas such as water, power, pollution, health, labour and the homeless

Pollution

The government, he said, would take up a study to find the exact reasons of pollution in different seasons. The government also plans to procure a machine that will send out real-time data on pollution and its sources in the city. He asked chief secretary Anshu Prakash to submit a report on the two proposals in a week.

“Except the IIT Kanpur report, there has not been any study on sources of pollution in Delhi. Every month has a different cause of pollution. And no study has so far addressed this point,” the chief minister said.

While he acknowledged that the odd-even car rationing scheme was not a permanent solution to pollution, Kejriwal said that dust pollution would be controlled by landscaping 500 kms of roads that are wider than 100 feet.

“A massive tree plantation drive would be taken up. Another good news is that the Centre is going to complete the eastern and western peripheral expressways by June which will help to decongest Delhi,” Kejriwal said.

Roads

The Delhi CM said his government will invest big in construction and repairing of roads next year. “We will try to complete roads and drains, particularly in unauthorised colonies, in a year’s time,” he said.

He said whichever department digs up roads would have to repair it irrespective of the land-owning agency and that the L-G was on board on the suggestion. This, he said, would be implemented in a week.

Appreciating his government, Kejriwal said it had built 11 flyovers in the past three years compared to the 57 built during the 15-year Congress rule in Delhi.

Run-ins with L-G, Centre

Kejriwal hit out at the lieutenant governor for allegedly obstructing his government’s development works. Listing how 16 to 17 bills passed by the Delhi Assembly were pending with the Centre, the chief minister said that the Delhi government struggled to get approval for its policies from L-G, who is a representative of the Union government.

“Finally, our MLA had to camp at L-G’s residence to get the bills passed,” he said.

Kejriwal said that the Shunglu committee, appointed by the Centre, had failed to find any wrongdoing in the 440 government files of the Delhi government even after investigating them for months.

“I challenge them (BJP government) to submit their files to me and I will teach them a lesson in four days,” he said.

Corruption

Responding to a question about corruption, Kejriwal said that corruption has increased in Delhi ever since the anti-corruption branch (ACB) went out of the Delhi government’s hands.

“I have no hesitation in admitting that corruption on retail level has increased since ACB was snatched by the Centre. But because we are an honest government, there is no corruption at the top,” he said.

During our 49-day government in 2013-14, corruption had come down at all levels, he said.

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First Published: Feb 14, 2018 17:40 IST