Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V.K. Malhotra on Tuesday questioned the delay in the Delhi Government taking a stand on the hanging of Parliament attack case accused Mohammad Afzal when it had shown great promptness in providing parole to Jessica Lal murder case accused Manu Sharma. He was speaking while initiating a discussion on the no-confidence motion that the BJP brought against the Sheila Dikshit Government in the Delhi Assembly.

Prof. Malhotra also accused the Government of having failed on all fronts in the past one year. He said this has been the blackest year for Delhi in the past 62 years as so many anti-people decisions had never been taken before.

Be it increase in bus or metro rail fares, or water and power tariffs or taxes, he said people have been burdened financially. The price rise has also hit them hard as the prices of food items and articles of daily use have risen sharply. “Inflation has jumped four times in two months,” he said.

To compound the woes of the people, Prof. Malhotra said the touts were calling the shots in all departments. “As much as 80 per cent of the below poverty line rations are being sold in black, but no action is being taken. Water is being openly sold by the tanker mafia which is making over Rs.2 crore per day and people are otherwise having to make do with unfit ground water which is so bad that it has to be softened for washing DTC buses,” he quipped.

The senior BJP leader said while on the one hand the Government had raised water rates to raise Rs.200 crore and VAT for raising another Rs.500 crore, it has spent the same amount of money on beautification of Connaught Place. Questioning the rationale behind such decision which hurt the poor and common man, he said people were also suffering because 90 per cent water meters are faulty and the sewerage charges have been increased by 50 per cent.

Prof. Malhotra also raised the issue of the sewers being choked across the Capital city and the Yamuna still running dirty despite Rs. 1,800 crore already having been spent on it.

“Another Rs. 872 crore has been pledged for the Yamuna now but to what end,” he asked, adding that the real concern for the Commonwealth Games organisers now is to prevent the stench from the river from reaching the Games Village on the river banks.

The BJP leader also took a dig at the Congress Government for repeatedly sending committees to London to study the Thames model but not doing enough at the ground level in Delhi for cleaning the Yamuna.

He also took a dig at the brouhaha over the Games asserting that the Rs.15,000 crore being spent on it would only benefit 5 per cent area of Delhi and no more. Besides, he said, while the Games were allotted to Delhi in 2003, work on the projects was started late. “Why was there no monthly monitoring earlier?”

Prof. Malhotra also raised the issue of the unauthorised colonies not being regularised and said while Congress president Sonia Gandhi had been brought to distribute provisional certificates, the maps of these colonies have still not been passed. He said for the fifth time now a one-year moratorium has been provided through the Delhi Special Provisions Act all the existing structures could have been given a one-time relief.

As for the health sector, the Leader of Opposition said almost 40 per cent posts of doctors were lying vacant and there was also a shortage of beds and medicines in Delhi’s hospitals.

Ms. Dikshit would be replying to the motion on Wednesday, which is the last day of the ongoing session.

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