Delhi Economic Survey: Focus on health but infant mortality increases
The AAP government’s focus on health and education reflected in the Economic Survey of Delhi that was tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday.
The survey showed that the per capita health spending has gone up from Rs 1,936 in 2014-15 to Rs 2,999 in 2015-16. However, the main cause of concern is rise in Delhi’s infant mortality rate (IMR), which has gone up from 20 in 2014 to 23 in 2015.
Unemployment has also risen sharply, with the number of unemployed people going up by over 11% between 2014 and 2015.
In the education sector, per student expenditure in Delhi government schools, saw an increase of almost 50% since 2012-13. From Rs 29,641 in 2012-13, the per student expenditure has risen to Rs 44,640 in 2015-16. The government says the literacy in Delhi is improving, but states the cause of worry for them is the gender gap of 10%.
Delhi’s infant mortality rate (IMR), the number of death of children under the age of one for every 1,000 live births, has gone up from 20 in 2014 to 23 in 2015, according to the economic survey of Delhi. The neonatal mortality rate (NMR), the number of deaths of children at 28 days for every 1,000 live births, has also gone up from 14 to 16.
“We have been appreciated by the government of India for bringing down both IMR and NMR. According to the sample registration system data, the IMR has gone down from 22 to 18. The discrepancy may be because civil registration system data, which also includes children from other states who are born in Delhi, has been considered for this report,” said a senior official from Delhi’s health department.
“Delhi government has been doing several interventions such as special newborn care, promoting breast feeding, and encouraging family-based newborn care,” the official said.
The under 5 mortality, however, has dropped drastically from 40 in 2014 to 24 in 2015. The under-five mortality in 2013 was 26.
The total number of hospital beds increased from 41,706 in 2010 to 49,969 in 2015-16 thereby the bed population ratio (beds per 1,000 people) increased from 2.54 to 2.76 in the same period.
Per student expenditure in Delhi government schools has seen an increase of almost 50% since 2012-13. The literacy rate in Delhi has increased from 75.29% in 1991 to 86.20% in 2011 Census. The male literacy rate as per the 2011 Census is 90.9% as against 80.8% females.
In the last academic year, five state universities were given Rs 1.5 crore to start incubation centres to focus on research. In 2017-18, five incubation center will be set up at Acharya Narendra Dev College, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Ambedkar Institute of Advanced Communication Technology and Research, College of Art and Bhai Parmanand Institute of Business Studies.
Electricity supply in Delhi increased from 23,537 million units in 2005-06 to 33,615 million units in 2015-16. This is not only because of the hot climatic conditions in the city but also because the number of electricity consumers in the capital has grown by 85.43% in the last 10 years. The peak demand increased from 3,626 MW in 2005-06 to 5,846 MW in 2015-16 as power consumption recorded an annual growth of approximately 3.39%. Besides, losses owing to power theft in Delhi have reduced from 52% in the pre-reform era to 12.15% in 2015-16.
With a 9.94% increase, Delhi saw the highest spike in the number of vehicles on roads in 2015-16. However, the Delhi government, stated in the survey that it still does not have the exact number of vehicles plying on roads as a huge number of cars come from cities in NCR. The road network in the capital also increased from 32,131 km in 2007-08 to 33,868 kms in 2015-16. Similarly, the existing network of DMRC is also going to be increased to 325 kms after completion of Phase-III network. While 1,700 cluster buses are operational in nine clusters by private sector corporate carriage operations, 291 mini buses are plying on 43 Metro feeder routes.
With registered vehicles increasing, the Delhi government admitted that “this has automatically enhanced the pollution levels.
From 88.27 lakh vehicle in 2014-2015, the number has increased to 97.05 lakh in 2015-16,
Data from the six air quality monitoring stations show that the annual average PM10, PM 2.5 and NO2 levels for 2015 were all well above prescribed standards. The Central Pollution Control Board has fixed the national ambient air quality annual standards at 60 ug/m3 for PM10, and 40 ug/m3 for PM2.5 and NO2.
During the 2016 budget proposal, the government floated the idea of building three new ambient air quality monitoring stations, and one mobile ambient air quality monitoring van. This is yet to be done, as are many of the measures that were proposed under “comprehensive maintenance of roads” plan.
Like the air, river Yamuna has not fared well either. Bio-chemical oxygen demands, chemical oxygen demands, and total suspended solids levels are all not at the prescribed standards, as per the water quality monitoring data from nine locations and 21 drains during April 2015 to March 2016.
The capacity of sewage treatment plants in Delhi has increased from 402.40 MGD (Million gallons per day) in March 2001 to 607.26 MGD in March 2016. However, only 74% of this available capacity is being used.
DJB officials said that this was logical, and should not be considered an anomaly.
“Sewage Treatment Plants cannot be set up overnight. Over the years, the total sewage trapped will also go up. So we create a capacity that is higher than we need currently, so that it lasts longer,” said a senior DJB official.
Currently, the Delhi Jal Board has a capacity of 906 MGD from their 12 water treatment plants, but the actual peak production capacity was capped at 900 MGD in July 2016.