After SC order, Delhi CM Kejriwal asks bureaucrats to expedite work on key projects

In the cabinet meeting, Kejriwal directed the government’s four senior most bureaucrats to perform their duties according to the order passed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning.

delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2018 11:43 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
SC order on Delhi,Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi CM
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with his deputy Manish Sisodia in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

Within hours of the Supreme Court judgment, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal held a cabinet meeting at the Delhi secretariat where he directed officials to expedite works on the doorstep delivery of services and installation of 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras across the city.

The proposals of these two and many other projects went back and forth between the CM’s and the lieutenant governor’s (L-G) office in the last six months.

In the cabinet meeting, Kejriwal directed the government’s four senior most bureaucrats to perform their duties according to the order passed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning.

Apart from Kejriwal and the six ministers, the meeting was attended by chief secretary Anshu Prakash, home secretary Manoj Parida, finance secretary Renu Sharma and law secretary Anoop Kumar Mendiratta.

This was the second consecutive cabinet meeting in the past two days. “Directed all functionaries of Delhi government to function according to the order of SC. Also, directed to expedite proposals of doorstep delivery of rations and CCTV now,” Kejriwal said.

“The Supreme Court ruling says that L-G’s concurrence is not needed in all matters of the elected government. So, now all projects will be fast-tracked. Until now, almost all projects used to get stuck because they had to be approved by the L-G,” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.

Some projects that were/have been stuck because of the tussle:
  • Mohalla Clinics: L-G said "serious complaints" related to favouritism to AAP volunteers in selection of sites of clinics, lack of transparency and deployment of doctors had been received. Allegations denied by AAP.
  • Doorstep delivery of ration and services: For ration, L-G said some clauses needed clarification from Centre. For services, L-G raised objections, which were later given in-principle approval.
  • CCTV cameras across Delhi: L-G has set up a committee to form uniform guidelines. Enhancement of Minimum
  • Wages: Delayed for five months as L-G insisted on constituting a new committee for revising minimum wages all over again.

The government said the SC judgment will help clear projects such as opening of mohalla clinics, filling vacancies in government schools, dispensaries and hospitals, regularising contractual workers and mid-day meals. The L-G had raised objections in all these decisions because of which the Kejriwal dispensation alleged they were stalled.

Sisodia recalled how the project to install CCTV cameras across Delhi, a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2015 election for ensuring public safety, was allegedly stalled by L-G Anil Baijal for not having a uniform procedure.

The L-G, who denied interfering in the project, formed a special committee to draft a policy on CCTV cameras.

When asked if the recommendations of the committee, which is yet to submit its report, would be implemented, a media advisor to the chief minister said officials had been asked to go ahead with the project anyway.

For the ‘doorstep delivery of services’ project, the government has already awarded work to the successful bidder from the tender. Under the plan, 70 services, including income certificates, vehicle registration and pensions will be delivered to the beneficiaries at their doorsteps using agents at a minimal fee.

The L-G and the Kejriwal government have been at loggerheads for three years over governance in Delhi. While the AAP government alleged that the Centre, through the L-G, was misinterpreting constitutional provisions to “stall” its projects, the L-G’s office has maintained it is merely following the high court’s order which called the L-G Delhi’s administrative head.

The government on Wednesday said that the SC judgment would now remove all these “hurdles” in its projects.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 11:34 IST