From pollution to law and order: Five challenges before new Delhi L-G Baijal
The tenure of Najeeb Jung as lieutenant governor was marred by frequent run-ins with the AAP government. The AAP blamed the L-G for handicapping Delhi’s development. On the other hand, a three-member committee appointed by the L-G scrutinised all important decisions taken by the government.
The challenge for Delhi’s new L-G, Anil Baijal, will be to clear pending files and ensure the constitution is followed in every case. HT outlines five key priorities before Baijal.
The L-G has been conducting review meetings with all agencies concerned (municipalities, DDA, PWD) after air quality in Delhi in the first week of November.
One-month plan: The new L-G will be expected to keep the momentum going, if not step-up measures, to combat air pollution during the review meetings.
One-year action plan: A policy on restriction of entry of diesel trucks from Delhi’s neighbouring states, revising parking rates and implementation of road vacuuming are some proposals the new L-G will want to look at. The promises of mist fountains and outdoor air purifiers in five high pollution zones may become a reality. After settling in, Baijal’s task will be to approve measures to ensure Delhi doesn’t choke during next Diwali.
Three-year plan: Probable L-G Baijal will need to take the crop burning issue up with the neighbouring states.
One-month plan: The AAP government planned to come up with 1,000 mohalla clinics by December, 2016. However, the government managed to start just 100 such clinics as part of a pilot project. The new L-G will have to clear the file for the remaining mohalla clinics.
One -year plan: The government has set a new deadline of March 2017 and the new L-G will have to play a crucial role in meeting it. He will have to look after new hospital buildings that are supposed to come up. His other job would be take precautionary measure to prevent outbreak of diseases during monsoon.
Three-year plan: Bringing modern medical equipment in government hospitals will be Baijal’s biggest long-term challenge.
One-month plan: Former L-G Najeeb Jung had returned a proposal of the government to make guest teachers, serving in government-run schools, permanent. Making guest teachers permanent is one of the most ambitious plans mooted by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. The government wants to give some relaxations, like extra weightage in written tests for such teachers, based on their work experience. However, Jung vetoed the idea leaving the fate of 17,000 guest teachers hanging in balance. The new L-G will need to find a common ground with the government and give his nod to the proposal.
One-year plan: The AAP is trying to overhaul the education system and condition of government schools. The new L-G should render all help possible in making this possible.
Three-year plan: Some of the present AAP government’s ‘education bills, including the one doing away with management quota in nursery admissions and preventing private schools from arbitrarily increasing fees, are lying with the Centre. The new L-G will have to act as a mediator and ensure that the bills are passed at the earliest.
One-month plan: Baijal will need to clear files to improve the city’s public transportation system. The government had mooted a proposal for creation of dedicated bus lanes. The file was sent to Jung’s office, who suggested some changes. The government resent the file for the L-G’s approval but never heard back.
One-year plan: Jung refused to give a go-ahead to the government’s ambitious ‘app-based premium bus service’ that was to be rolled out from June 1, 2016. The new L-G might consider the proposal.
Three-year plan: Purchasing buses on a priority basis. Baijal should prepare an action plan to double the city’s existing bus fleet.
Law and order
One-month plan: The working of the current anti-corruption branch (ACB) has been affected. The new L-G will try to end the clash of conflict with the government over the control of the ACB.
One-year plan: The L-G must ensure the ACB is seen as an independent body, free of any political influence that works actively towards ending graft in government departments.
Three-year plan: The city’s law and order situation, especially crimes against women, will be the new L-G’s biggest challenge. The Delhi Police commissioner reports to the L-G. The Delhi government has also demanded control of the Delhi police. Baijal is expected to continue in Jung’s steps and hold two meetings a week with the police top brass on the crimes reported in Delhi.