Promises to keep and the promises kept

From rewarding e-rickshaw and auto drivers, and residents of unauthorised colonies, the Aam Aadmi Party government’s 100 days in office were underlined by welfare schemes as grand as the political mandate bestowed upon it by voters from each category.

Transport Minister Gopal Rai told The Hindu the government has no qualms about accepting the contribution of voters from these three segments in its historic win.

“We have already written to the Centre seeking adequate changes in the Motor Vehicles Act to ensure easier upgrade of old e-rickshaw models to vehicles conforming to the new scheme. A welfare board has been formed to look into issues being faced by auto-rickshaws and legislators from each Assembly segment will soon submit reports to ensure that buses reach each corner of the city.”

Among the first of its promises to fructify and in a redux of the most significant policy decisions taken during its last stint at the helm here, the AAP announced a 50 per cent reduction in power bills and announced 20,000 litres of free water for domestic and metered consumers respectively.

Both subsidies became effective from March 1 and cost the government an estimated Rs.91 crore (Rs.70 crore for power and Rs.21 crore for water). Relief in electricity bills will continue even in the eventuality of any tariff hike by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In addition to the initiatives launched by the Transport Department, the government has identified six issues, namely water, sewerage, drains, roads, street lights and cleanliness of colonies as priority areas for infrastructure development.

For achieving the targets set for an efficient administration, the government has constituted the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) to come up with new and big ideas, identify best practices and policies from around the world and translate them into concrete recommendations for bringing about changes in the Capital.

In a move providing relief to an estimated 40 lakh residents staying in unauthorised colonies, the government has set the ball rolling on time-bound regularisation of such colonies. In another relief to residents of unauthorised colonies, the government recently reduced sewer and water development charges collected by the Delhi Jal Board for new connections by 80 per cent.

Amid all these measures, Mr. Kejriwal has accused the Centre of releasing insufficient funds for the Capital’s development, while affirming that the people of Delhi were paying Rs.65,000 crore annually in the form of taxes to the Union Government.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 4:44:18 AM |

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