The five-day Budget session of the Delhi Assembly began here today with Lt Governor Anil Baijal outlining the work done by the two-year-old AAP government in education, health, water, power and transport sectors. Addressing the legislators, the Governor said the Delhi government was committed to provide basic amenities to people. Baijal, who had recently cleared three long-pending proposals of the government, steered clear of making any reference to the Centre, which shares bitter ties with the AAP dispensation. Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung had pitched for greater support from the Centre to cater to the needs of citizens of Delhi while addressing last year’s Budget session.
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In Delhi’s complex administrative hierarchy, the Lieutenant Governor enjoys primacy over the elected government. During his address, Baijal said for inclusive development, his government has identified education as one of the key sectors and that construction of 20 new school buildings has been taken up. He said around 8,000 additional class rooms are being constructed in various existing schools for improving the student classroom ratio.
“To upgrade the infrastructure for higher education, construction of new campuses has been initiated for Ambedkar University at Rohini and Dheerpur. The project will be completed by November 2020,” Baijal said. The government intends to start new ITIs, with phase-II construction of IIT-Delhi likely to be completed by August 2017 which will accommodate additional 1,400 students, LG said.
However, key promises of AAP such as free wifi, Aam Aadmi Canteen, mohalla sabhas, procurement of new buses, CCTV cameras did not find mention in Baijal’s 30 minute-long speech. Baijal said in order to take primary health care to the masses, mohalla clinics as “decentralised health reach out venues” were introduced which have received international acclaim from personalities like Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations. “1,000 mohalla clinics will be completed in next six months and 122 polyclinics will be completed in next one year. The government also intends to improve public health services through medical education, research and training in cutting-edge technologies,” he said.