Need NCR authority: Harsh Vardhanhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/need-ncr-authority-harsh-vardhan/

Need NCR authority: Harsh Vardhan

Calls Sheila approach casual,says lack of police powers can’t be excuse for lax security.

Unveiling his plans for Delhi if elected to power on December 8,BJP chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said full statehood for Delhi and changes in the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) would be his top priorities.

Harsh Vardhan also termed Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s effort during the 15 years in power at improving Delhi as “casual”.

Harsh Vardhan was speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express on Tuesday.

According to Harsh Vardhan,the NCRPB was unsuccessful in solving the myriad problems that plague the region.

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“Once in power,we will change the functioning of the NCRPB to an authority. As an authority,it will have more power and financial strength. This will help develop the region better in terms of planning,” Harsh Vardhan said.

He said the BJP would also strive to develop satellite towns around the capital to ease the strain on resources in Delhi.

Statehood for Delhi is also a top priority for Harsh Vardhan. “Despite controlling the government at the state and Centre,

Mrs Dikshit has not managed to secure statehood for Delhi. Once Narendra Modi is elected Prime Minister,my first priority will be to do this,” Harsh Vardhan said.

The CM candidate also termed Dikshit’s approach during her three-term tenure in Delhi as “causal”. “The Congress and Mrs Dikshit have been very lucky in being voted to power for three terms,but her performance in developing the city can best be termed causal. Their approach towards development has not been scientific,” Harsh Vardhan said. He said if voted to power,he would recruit the best talent available to systematically plan all-round development.

Responding to a query about women’s security,Harsh Vardhan said Dikshit only had weak excuses. “Every time Mrs Dikshit says she is helpless since the Delhi CM does not control the police. This is incorrect. The Commissioner of Police reports to the CM through the Home Secretary and is also answerable to the Delhi Assembly,” Harsh Vardhan said. He added that during his tenure as Delhi’s health minister,he had used police resources to further the pulse polio drive.

“But police is just one aspect of security. Data about dark spots in Delhi are readily available,but in 15 years the Congress has done nothing. Major cities such as New York and London have worked hard to eliminate dark spots to make cities safer,but Mrs Dikshit has not done anything,” Harsh Varshan said.