The democratic exercise by the Aam Aadmi Party that of organising Mohalla Sabha (public meeting) has brought out several problems that plague the Capital. The Mohalla Sabha held at Sangam Vihar Assembly constituency revealed that it was bereft of basic requirements that were present in other areas of the National Capital.
Going by the claims of Dinesh Mohaniya, the AAP MLA of the Assembly segment, for over 5 lakh people living in the constituency there is not even a single functional government hospital, neither has it got any senior secondary school.
The basic issue of “absence” of governance and development, as Mr. Mohania puts it, surfaced prominently during the AAP Mohalla Sabhas. The party is currently organising public meetings in the 27 Assembly segments it represents to let people decide on how to spend the MLA local area development fund worth Rs 4 crore which is in the process of being released.
Development in Sangam Vihar has not been easy, he adds, referring to the official status of the area being “unauthorized regularised” which does not allow implementation of any civic work taken by the government. So, most of the civic body work is done by the MLA Fund through concerned Delhi Government departments, says Mr. Mohaniya.
He mentions that during one of his Mohalla Sabha, the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) of I- 2 Block has given a piece of land worth over Rs 80 lakh to be developed as a government dispensary. Referring to RWA’s donation of the land, the AAP MLA gave credit to his party’s experiments with the idea of self-governance in the form of Mohalla Sabha.
“This is what happens when you involve people in the process of governance. The land is over 100 square yard and would be worth at least Rs 50 lakh. When I discussed the absence of land for developmental work, the RWA came forth on its own with the proposal,” added the AAP MLA.
“We are planning to transfer the ownership of the land as well as the required funds to the Health Department so that the land could be used for development of a hospital,” he added.
For Amar Nath Singh Chauhan, an RWA office bearer, the hospital would be a “historic” initiative for the area. “For most of the people who cannot afford private health facilities, going to quacks or visiting the government hospital in Malviya Nagar are the only options,” said Mr. Singh, particularly adding that the government sponsored mobile vans are “of not much help”.
Sundar Singh, a resident of I block, is also looking forward to the day when the Assembly segment would get its own government hospital. “We cannot forget several occasions of medical emergency when we have to rush to a far off hospital. This one will make our lives easier,” he remarked.