Help yourself to free water, pay lower power bills, notice less number of lal battis on Delhi roads and watch Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s dharna bring Central Delhi to a grinding halt.
The city’s residents in the past month have conducted “stings” to expose the corrupt, witnessed a Cabinet Minister go on a “midnight raid” and have had Mr. Kejriwal’s blue car pull up next to them at a traffic light.
Delhiites that have never followed politics before have started taking note of the “unconventional” ways in which the Aam Aadmi Party Government is functioning. The Chief Minister has claimed “his government has worked much more than any other government has done in a month”.
He validates his claim with an exhaustive list: 50 per cent subsidy to power consumers, 20 kl free water to all households having metered connection, CAG audit of power discoms within five days after taking over, the launch of an anti-corruption helpline, new night shelters for the homeless, and permits for 5,500 auto rickshaws in the NCR among several others.
Yet, the first month in office has not been devoid of controversy. It has been criticised for failing to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill within the 15-day deadline that it set itself, a “midnight raid” conducted by Law Minister Somnath Bharti in Khirki Extension allegedly to bust a drug and sex racket came under scrutiny and the government has been criticised for not initiating speedy regularisation of contractual work.
Further, the government has faced criticism from the main opposition, the BJP, for announcing 666 litres of water for every household with the latter claiming that is not likely to reach beyond a few thousand given only 4.5 lakh households across the city have functional metered water connections. Moreover, if any household consumes over 20 kl water in a month, they would be billed for the entire consumption, that too at an increased rate of 10 per cent.
The deadline for passing the Jan Lokpal Bill, which promises to put in place even the office of the Chief Minister under a strong anti-corruption watchdog, has been revised from “within 15 days after forming government” to be passed in first week of February at a special session of the Delhi Assembly at the Ramlila Maidan.