Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took a slew of major decisions on Friday, two days after the Supreme Court said that the position of the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi was not that of a Governor but an administrator only “in a limited sense”.
Among key decisions taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief is an order directing the PWD secretary to place a proposal for CCTV cameras in next Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
The other major decision involves a massive tree plantation drive in the coming weeks which the CM described as “a big step by Delhi government to protect the lungs of Delhi”.
Kejriwal also approved the doorstep delivery of rations in the morning, over-ruling “all objections” the Central government had raised through its representative.
The city government also cleared two major pending projects – completion of a signature bridge and two new academic blocks in the Delhi Technological University (DTU). “After missing multiple deadlines due to inadequate funds, the iconic bridge in Wazirabad will open to public in October,” said the Kejriwal.
The technical university proposal relates to the construction of five buildings – two academic blocks of 10 storeys each and three hostel blocks of 13 storeys each at DTU, Shahabad Daulatpur, Bawana Road at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 292 crore.
AAP MLA from Greater Kailash, Saurabh Bharadwaj, took to Twitter to share the news of the L-G signing the decision to revoke tree cutting permissions for Central government project in Delhi.
But the CM also alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs has told the L-G to ignore the Supreme Court order which restricts Baijal’s powers to just three areas – land, police and public order.
“MHA has advised LG to ignore that part of SC order, which restricts LG’s powers to only 3 subjects. V dangerous that central govt advising LG not to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders,” alleged Kejriwal on Twitter.
“Have sought time from Sh Rajnath Singh ji to urge him to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders,” he added.
The Chief Minister also alleged that Baijal has openly refused to agree that Services Department was under the control of the elected government because a 2015 central Home Ministry order had not been quashed by the Supreme Court in its July 4 ruling that said the central representative was constitutionally bound to listen to the Delhi cabinet.
“This is for the first time in the history of India that the Central government has openly refused to accept a Supreme Court ruling. If it becomes a precedent, there will be anarchy,” Kejriwal told reporters after a meeting with the L-G in which Baijal had assured the Delhi CM of his “continued support”.
He said the Central government’s intransigent attitude in keeping the Services Department under its control had caused delay in Delhi’s development projects because “they (the BJP) for their political gains will want us to fail as we are their rivals and have to face elections”.
“You have Services but you did not fill the post of Director, Education. How can we bring reforms in education if there are so many vacancies? Had Services been with us, we would have appointed a new official 15 days ahead to ensure efficiency.”
The L-G said he told the Chief Minister and his deputy that in the wake of the judgment of the Supreme Court constitutional bench, the Home Ministry had advised his office that its earlier notification remained valid as nine appeals including the one relating to Services shall be taken up by the regular bench of the apex court separately.
The Chief Minister said despite L-G’s inflexibility, his government would continue making efforts to expedite development and welfare projects stalled so far.
“Within the powers that we have after the SC order, I have asked officials to expedite projects. The Lt. Governor told us there is no need to send these files to (him). You can go ahead with the projects,” Kejriwal said.
(With inputs from IANS.)