Aims to make Delhi a completely slum-free city. Says the government is all set to allot around 10,000 low-cost houses to the poor.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit hoisted the National Flag for the 11th consecutive time at the Independence Day celebrations in the Ambedkar Stadium here on Saturday.

The Chief Minister, who inspected a parade from an open jeep, was accorded a rousing welcome by a large number of school children. She also took the salute from marching contingents of the Delhi Police, Home Guards and Civil Defence, Delhi Fire Services, NCC cadets and school children.

Ms. Dikshit also presented a service medal for meritorious service to Deputy Inspector-General of Prison (Tihar) C. R. Garg for his outstanding contribution in bringing about positive changes in the jail complex.

Addressing the function, which was attended among others by four of her Cabinet colleagues, besides a number of MLAs and Chief Secretary, Ms. Dikshit announced that her government was all set to allot around 10,000 low-cost houses to the poor with the intention of making the Capital a completely slum-free city within the next three to four years. The poor families, would become proud owners of their own houses and have a respectable address in well-developed colonies.

The Chief Minister urged the people to make a rational use of electricity and water so that consumption could be brought down by at least 10 per cent. This, she said, would greatly help in putting an end to the problem of load-shedding and shortage of drinking water. Ms. Dikshit said the Delhi government had been vigorously taking steps to accelerate regularisation of unauthorised colonies, which have already been awarded provisional regularisation certificates. She said her government was duty-bound to bring a visible change in such colonies, which would ensure better civic services to lakhs of residents.

The Chief Minister also mentioned construction of flyovers, foot over-bridges with escalators, underpasses and extension of Delhi Metro rail in the past 10 years, saying these had made a positive impact on the city. “We have been provided an opportunity to transform Delhi into a world-class city as we are concentrating our efforts on making the Commonwealth Games successful and memorable. The infrastructure which is being developed for the Games would continue to be a permanent part of the legacy of the city,” she said.

With the infrastructure in place, Ms. Dikshit said, Delhi would be requiring a better civic sense and dedicated volunteers to present “our etiquettes and courtesy during the Games.”On the spread of swine flu, the Chief Minister said it has been shown by the Capital that modern hospitals can help in containing any virus. She said the number of hospitals in Delhi had gone up from 16 to 32 and 14 more were due to be commissioned soon.

More In: Delhi