As it comes to power for the third time in the capital, two key priorities for the new Aam Aadmi Party government are both areas that have been hard to navigate during its previous tenure. According to sources, the big projects that the government wants to implement are the doorstep delivery of ration scheme and project-specific sanitation grants to municipal corporations.
The AAP government first floated the idea of delivering ration to people at their homes in 2018, saying it would help fill distribution gaps and could also help those who queue up outside ration shops only to be disappointed.
The project, however, did not take off, with the L-G refusing to sign off on it. The cabinet of ministers, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had held a nine-day sit in at the L-G’s office demanding that the project be cleared. The L-G had raised objections against the plan before the Supreme Court judgment, which said the L-G is bound by the aid and advice of the cabinet of ministers except in areas of law and order, land and police.
“Our plan is ready and we hope to roll it out in the next three-six months. We already have experience with doorstep delivery of services and believe that since this is just one product, we will be able to manage easily,” said a senior official, who did not want to be named.
After the L-G’s refusal to pass the file, the Centre had issued guidelines to states, asking them to start a similar service to prevent starvation deaths.
The second big project that AAP wants to get rolling soon is a project-based sanitation solution for the municipal corporations. The three municipal corporations in the city — South, North and East — have demanded more funds from the government. The latter two have not managed to pay regular salaries to its employees several times over the past few years. In East Delhi, sanitation workers have gone on strike repeatedly, demanding better working conditions.
“Whenever we gave money to the corporations to pay salaries, they diverted the funds and used it for something else. We are now working on a project-specific funding pattern, whereby funds will be released only for that particular project. One of our main aims this time around is to make sure that Delhi is clean. Since our next electoral focus in the city is also the corporation polls, the project will help people see how well things can work if there is coordination between the government and the corporations,” said the official.
The other scheme that the government aims to roll out in the coming month is free bus rides for students, along the lines of free bus rides for women. “The government will pay DTC and cluster buses a set amount per ticket,” said the official.
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