5 lakh homes, city as tech hub, study loans to top AAP promiseshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/5-lakh-homes-city-as-tech-hub-study-loans-to-top-aap-promises/

5 lakh homes, city as tech hub, study loans to top AAP promises

The manifesto will deal with the problem of job creation in Delhi and vouch for “incubation centres” in colleges.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal during a rally in West Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal during a rally in West Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

The AAP will unveil its plans for housing, job creation and education loans in its manifesto, which is to be released later this week.

Identifying the lack of low income and middle class housing in Delhi, party leaders said they will use 200 acres of land that is reportedly lying vacant with the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to create over 5 lakh homes. The manifesto will also give the party a new slogan — “Big change without big spending”.

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“A detailed investigation by the AAP into the functioning of DUSIB has revealed that over 200 acres of land is currently vacant. Sample plots include areas such as Kasturba Niketan, Sawda Ghewra and Bhalaswa,” a senior party leader said.

Another senior leader said, “Section 21(2) of the DUSIB Act says that the board may prepare schemes for housing for low income and poor categories. There is both land and the law. We have promised that the 5 lakh jhuggis will be converted into concrete homes. This land will be used to do so. However, we also feel that 200 acres is a lot of land, and many middle class homes can also come up. So far, the government has attempted to make land a scarce commodity to benefit builders.”

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The manifesto will also deal with the problem of job creation in Delhi and vouch for “incubation centres” in colleges.

“Delhi missed both the IT and the service sector boom. But we believe that we can make Delhi a hub for startups. Every college will have ‘technological incubators’ — areas where graduates will be given facilities to begin startup ventures. In addition, we will have a separate incubator as well, spread out over 30 lakh sq ft. This way, the basic difficulty of students not having a place to begin their ventures or businesses will be done away with at a nominal rent,” the leader said.

Party leaders said the manifesto will be an amalgamation of ideas that have come out of discussions across the city through the Delhi Dialogues. It will also include an education guarantee loan scheme for college students.

“The loan will be given to students without them having to declare their assets. In the long run, this will increase the pressure on the government and force us to expand the college network. There will be a five year moratorium on repayment of the loan. We have also found out that there is a lot of gram sabha land that can be used to build new colleges. We have promised that 20 new colleges will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 1,600 crore. Right now, planned expenditure in the sector is Rs 2,500 crore, so this is definitely possible,” a leader said.