Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday told a meeting, which was attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, that a decision on mohalla clinics would be taken after ensuring sufficient safeguards, so that quality healthcare could be offered to Delhiites. The development comes a day after 45 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs camped at the Raj Niwas for hours, seeking an immediate nod for the mohalla clinics, an initiative of the party.
Besides Kejriwal, the meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary M M Kutty, Finance Secretary S N Sahai, Principal Secretary (Vigilance) Ashwani Kumar and other officers.
After the meeting, although Sisodia claimed that the LG had assured that the files on mohalla clinics would be cleared by Tuesday, Baijal said a decision on offering quality healthcare to the residents would be taken only after incorporating safeguards to ensure transparency and objectivity.
“Hon LG has assured that Mohalla Clinic files would be cleared by Tuesday. If he has any queries, he’ll call us for clarification (sic),” Sisodia wrote on Twitter.
Jain had submitted the files on mohalla clinics to the LG at the meeting.
The LG also told the meeting that all the issues pertaining to the project should be addressed.
According to a statement issued by the LG’s office, the health secretary gave a detailed background of the project.
“The secretary also explained the gist of the complaints received regarding setting up of these clinics such as no transparent method to select the premises, the rent of the premises being higher than the market rate, the premises of party workers being taken on rent etc.,” the statement said.
It added that there were also complaints about the clinics being located far from the existing dispensaries, that the four-hour time period for the functioning of the clinics was not sufficient and that there was no proper accounting while deciding payments to be made to the doctors.
Following the health secretary’s explanation, the LG said it was of utmost importance that while implementing such a vital project, all the issues were addressed to ensure that it achieved its goal.
On Wednesday, there was high drama at the LG’s office as 45 AAP MLAs camped there till late evening, insisting that he cleared the files on the mohalla clinics immediately.
The LG later described the act of the legislators as “laying siege to the office of a constitutional functionary”.
The episode has marked a fresh confrontation between the ruling dispensation in Delhi and the LG’s office. The two have frequently been at loggerheads.