As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government completed its first year in Delhi on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a host of sops for the city residents including waiving off pending water bills and house tax, assuring filtered water in all households including illegal colonies by 2017 and approaching the Apex court seeking cancellation of management quotas in private schools.
Speaking at the NDMC convention centre here, where he presented a report card of his government as a part of a public interaction, Kejriwal said his government, upon inspection, found that many pending bills had arrears.
“To tackle this, all faulty bills up to November 30 have been waived off,” he said, hoping that third party water tanker services will stop in the capital.
Highlighting that his government has worked to make water up to 20 lakh litres free for all homes in the capital, Kejriwal said the Delhi Jal Board had serious doubts about the scheme, but it ended up saving about three million gallons of water per month while increasing its revenue by Rs.176 crore.
Kejriwal further said that soon Delhi will become the first city in the country to have filtered, purified tap water running in every household, including illegal colonies.
“We have sanctioned Rs.840 crore to the department this year, and Rs.500 crore in the next year. We hope that by 2017, Delhi will be the first city to receive clean, drinking water directly from taps. Laboratories will be set up and leak detection centers will come up for its implementation,” he said.
Furthermore, 100 per cent tax has for houses falling under the E, F, G and H categories — the lowest category – were waived off while houses in D and C category got a waiver of 75 and 50 per cent respectively. Houses under A and B category got 25 per cent of the tax waived off.
Talking about electricity, Kejriwal said that a subsidy of Rs.14 crore had been given to the department, adding that if power distribution companies do not repair power cuts within an hour, they will have to compensate all users in the affected area.
The chief minister further said that the AAP government has dedicated the year 2016 to education and health and that of the annual Delhi budget of Rs.45,000 crore, around 25 per cent that translates to around Rs.10,000 crore will be spent on education.
“The Delhi government has been conducting regular inspection in the 1,100 government schools falling under its purview, where it was found that basic infrastructure such as drinking water, cleanliness and toilets for girls were missing,” he said.
“We also found that classrooms were overstuffed. We are in the process of constructing 2,000 new classrooms. The PWD will hand over these classrooms by July,” he added.
He added that 100 land plots have been identified as possible sites for schools while 35 new schools are already under construction.
Reacting to the ongoing tussle between private schools’ management quota and the AAP administration, Kejriwal said that his government plans to go to Supreme Court for the removal of the quota.
Stating the achievements of the health ministry, the chief minister informed that all medicines and tests in government hospitals have been made free. The department has also planned 1,000 mohalla clinics and 150 polyclinics.
“We are aiming for a three-tier medical help system. The mohalla clinics will be set up for small illnesses, polyclinics will have specialists, after which would be the government hospitals for specialized treatment of serious diseases,” Kejriwal said.
The AAP government has also started a biometric identification for even distribution of rations. “For the first time, ration shops were able to save some closing stock at the end of the month which they returned to us," Kejriwal said.