Address of Shri. Tejendra Khanna, Lt. Governor, Delhi.

17th March, 2008  

Respected Speaker and Hon'ble Members,

            I extend a warm welcome to all of you to the Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi for the year 2008.

2.          Progress in the last one year on various infrastructure projects are a standing testimony of my government’s commitment to redeem our pledge to make Delhi a world class city. The initiative of the Hon’ble Members of this august house, with the support of the populace, can lead to a new era of prosperity. I would like to remind the Hon’ble Members that it is their responsibility & duty to ensure that development ventures of the Government reach fruition.

3.          My Government has furthered the concept of partnership thereby helping translate growth and development into an improved quality of life for the people of Delhi. In addition to power, water and transport sectors, the priorities of my Government clearly lie in sectors of health, education and social welfare especially aiming at the marginalized sections of our society; the poor; the aged; the women; the children and the underprivileged, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals outlined in the Delhi Human Development Report. Housing for the poor/slum dwellers, issues of unauthorized colonies, renewal of Delhi, upscaling of our industrial estates and relocating polluting industries remain in focus. These issues get essentially linked to a more dynamic role for the NCR, in order to ease the burden on infrastructural services caused by increasing population pressures. These issues get further complicated by the multiplicity of implementing authorities.

4.          At the last budget session, this august house was informed of the phenomenal increase of 73%, in the size of plan outlay of our Government in 2007-08, as compared to that of 2006-07. The plan outlay of Rupees five thousand two hundred crore in the financial year 2006-07 had increased to Rupees nine thousand crore in 2007-08. It gives me pleasure to inform that our Government has passed the litmus test in demonstrating its earnestness and capability by spending the amount set aside for development of Delhi in a single year. By January 2008, we have spent about 84% of the budgeted amount. In the future, my Government will try to further improve upon the plan expenditure, through the Project Efficiency Unit, which has started a concurrent evaluation of implementation of the projects.

5.          The Government’s prudent fiscal policy coupled with initiatives to simplify procedures and increase transparency has sustained the buoyant tax collection. My Government is planning to introduce On-line tax payment facility, use of digital signature for on line filing of returns and disaster recovery site for back-up of data. My Government has not only reduced the rate of stamp duty on the sale of property further by an additional rebate of 2% if the property is in the name of a woman but also published circle rates for all areas including built up properties to promote a transparent system of self calculation.

6.          My government has been continuously expanding the scope and quality of health care for the people of Delhi. A total of 359 beds were added in this year and 1000 beds are proposed to be added in the coming year. Work is also likely to commence on the construction of the 750 bedded Multi-specialty Hospital at Dwarka and on a 200-bedded Hospital at Kokiwala Bagh, Ashok Vihar. Apart from commissioning of the new hospitals, services in the existing hospitals at Narela, Pitampura, Shastri Park, Malviya Nagar, DDU Hospital, Mangolpuri, GNEC, DSCI, IHBAS shall also be strengthened. In addition 15 new dispensaries have been opened and new nursing / colleges are planned. To assure quality treatment an MOU has been signed with the Quality Council of India to enable Hospitals under GNCT of Delhi to attain accreditation with National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care. My Government has introduced the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) scheme to achieve the goal set by the Delhi State Health Mission. MY Government has introduced Mamta Friendly Hospital Scheme under which private hospitals / nursing homes are being invited to provide a comprehensive package of Maternal Health Services, including institutional deliveries in underserved areas of slums / JJ clusters.

7.          The Power reforms are showing results. The average reduction in AT&C losses has been over 3% per year, which is higher than the national average of 1% per year. Transmission losses in Delhi reduced from 3.84% to 0.89% in 2006-07. Load shedding, as a percentage of energy supplied, has also shown a significant decrease. My government through Delhi Transco Ltd. Is promoting the use of solar energy, use of CFL and energy efficient lighting, making it mandatory for government departments / government buildings / hospitals. A modest target of 5% saving in energy has been planned through promotion of efficient devices and energy conservation, during 11th Five Year Plan. TO reduce dependence on outside sources my government is setting up 1600 MW Gas Based Combined Cycle Power Project at Bawana. Hon’ble Prime Minister will be laying the foundation stone of the project very shortly. As a result of measures taken by my government the shortage of power is expected to be over by 2010 and Delhi would become surplus in power availability.

8.          Preparation for Commonwealth games 2010 is in full swing. My Government is constructing a new multipurpose air-conditioned indoor stadium and 8-lane 400 mtr. Synthetic athletic track at Thyagraj Sport Complex. Existing stadiums at chhatrasal, Talkatora and Shivaji are being renovated for the games. Besides these, work on flyovers and under pass bridges at 17 locations are also in progress ans would be completed before the start of games.

9.          Significant strides have been made in the field of Information Technology. The focus of IT policy is on the use of IT as an enabler for the people. All the major Departments have been connected with Delhi Secretariat through leased lines / Broadband connections. Other important initiatives include adoption of web based e - procurement system , a Grievance Management System, “ Jeevan ” Project , a gateway for one stop shop for all G2C and G2B, interactions.

10.          My Government has won many awards during the last year for its IT initiatives, including the Golden Icon Award at the 10th National Conference on e-Governance for Excellence in Government Process Re-Engineering for the year 2007, Silver Icon Award for Outstanding Performance in Citizen-Centric Services Delivery of the year 2007. Delhi Government has been declared as the "BEST e-GOVERNED STATE IN NORTHERN REGION” in 2007, by Data Quest Magazine.

11.          My Government has focused on public transport and well designed infrastructure as a crucial goal. For the Commonwealth Games 2010, improving connectivity between the stadia and Games village, as also with the Airports, Hospitals, Railway Stations, Places of tourist interest etc. is a major concern. The objective is not only to improve point-to-point connectivity but also to develop the corridors, including the construction of new links, so as to disperse the traffic evenly easing the heavily stressed corridors in Delhi such as Ring Road, Outer Ring Road, Vikas Marg, ITO Bridge etc.

12.          My Government has approved the scheme for modernization and doubling of the Bus Fleet of Delhi Transport Corporation. Order for 525 Low floor modern Buses has already been placed and the supply has started. I see that these beautiful Green Buses, 100 of which are already plying in Delhi, have become very popular. The balance buses will also be pressed into service by the end of July this year. 25 of these Buses will be air-conditioned. DTC is also in the process of procuring 1000 Standard Height Buses, 1000 semi low-floor and 2500 low-floor buses and the supply of these commences later this year. This will raise the total fleet of DTC to 6000 buses by 2010. I am happy that DTC is introducing the Global Positioning System (GPS) base Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring System and also the Passenger Information System (PIS), to be installed in all the DTC Buses and on at least 500 Bus Queue Shelters in Delhi. We have also improved the Bus Stands and Bus-Q-Shelters. Beautiful modern steel structures are already erected in different parts. The Government has sanctioned the construction of eight new Bus Depots located at Dwarka, Rohini, Narela, Kanjhawala, Okhla and Ghummanhera. My Government has also decided to corporatize the private stage carriage (blue line) buses so that the ill effects of a multitude of individual operators are eliminated.

13.          In order to promote Delhi as a cultural tourist destination, the Government of Delhi has taken steps, including holding festivals on regular basis like Bhakti Utsav, Ananya dance festival, Garden Tourism Festival, Qutub Festival, Jahan-e-khusrau etc. which have become part of the cultural life of Delhi and help promote the city as an International Centre of Art & Culture. To celebrate 150 years of India’ s First Struggle of Independence, the Government of Delhi organized “Bharat Utsav” attended by large number of artists from all over the country.

14.          Around 71 nations are participating in the Commonwealth games 2010 and we expect a very large number of guests. The Government of Delhi has launched Bed & Breakfast Scheme for their convenience. This Scheme will provide the world a glimpse into the Indian families and the values we cherish. The scheme will also help the residents of the City to earn from the scheme and offer excellent hospitality through home stay experience. Delhi’s second Dilli haat, at Pitam Pura is being opened to the public in March 2008. Plans are also afoot to set up a third Dilli Haat at Janak Puri. Eco-Tourism Complexes at Chhawla & Kanganheri, on Najafgarh drain are also planned.

15.          The Government has taken several initiatives to provide quality goods and better services, particularly to the weaker sections of the society. The Government has been providing good quality 4 kilograms Dal to BPL (Below Poverty Line) and AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojna) card holders, at 25% below maket price to meet the nutritional requirements of the vulnerable sections of society. The Government has also taken measures to ensure the quality and uninterrupted supply of dals. Total of 37800 BPL card holders and about 57000 families, under AAY category are benefiting from this scheme.

16.          Extending the benefit of the Public Distribution System to the lower-strata of the Society, the Government has decided to allow rations to APL(Above Poverty Line) card- holder families, having annual income of Rs. 1 Lac. and below. These card holders were getting only 40% of their full ration quota earlier.

17.          The goal of my Government has been to upgrade the quality of education and upscale school infrastructure. In this direction, 5 new schools have been opened and 25 schools have been upgraded. Besides, 5 existing schools have been converted to Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya and 7 have been converted into Sarvodya Schools. The Government has also decided to provide uniform subsidy and textbooks to all students of government schools. The Delhi is also the only state in the country that provides books and uniform subsidy to all students enrolled in the government schools.

18.          Improved school results at the secondary and senior secondary CBSE examination is evidence of the efforts of my Government and the dedication of students. The result of our government schools in Secondary Examination has improved significantly by 17.39%, as compared to 7.28% in the overall result of CBSE for the entire country in last academic year. The result of Sr. Secondary Examination has improved by 4.66%, as compared to 1.09% in the overall result of CBSE in the last academic year.

19.          Besides providing free education to girl students, my Government is introducing the scheme called LADLI. The objective of this scheme is to enhance the social status of the girl child in society, promote and provide proper education as well as all round development of the girl child and protect her from discrimination and deprivation. Under this scheme, every girl child born in Delhi and whose family income is less than Rs.100,000/- per annum, will be released approximately Rs. 31000 /-, over a period of 18 years. This payment will be released in stages, till she attains the age of 18 years or takes admission in Sr. Secondary. The amount released will be kept as a long term fixed deposit. It is estimated that the maturity value of the fixed term deposit, at the end of 18 years, will be nearly Rs. One lakh.

20.          My Government is committed to cater to the needs of the younger generation in the field of Higher Education. Two Engineering Colleges have been made operational. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University is a unique endeavor in which private participation is being encouraged in this field. The construction of west Campus of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University at Dwarka is in full swing. The Government has enacted the Bharat Ratna Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Act, 2007 and has decided to start this university at the campus of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Integrated Rural Energy Planning & Development at Bakoli. The Governmant has enacted the National Law School of Delhi University Act, 2008, to impart education for Law students at international standards. It is expected to start from the academic session 2008-2009.

21.          In the past few years, the efforts of my Government have led to the streamlining and augmentation of the social security system through various programmes of financial assistance, vocational training and soft loans for specific entrepreneurial activities. We have accelerated the pace of the various schemes for the educational, social and economic development of the SC/ST/OBC and the minority communities. The social welfare entitilements to the deserving people will be streamlined for effective implementation of the Programmes.

22.          In the field of women protection, DTC has introduced a Women Helpline and has also tied up with NGOs to impart training to DTC staff, to sensitize them towards the need of women and physically challenged.

23.          Gender Resource Centres, set up under the Stree Shakti initiative, have been strengthened as single-window facilitation centers for women, with special attention to convergence of delivery systems. 43 Gender Resource centers have been made functional in different parts of Delhi, with focus on vocational training and skill development, for helping women to become self sufficient and self reliant. 22 work centers are being run to train girls in cutting, tailoring and dress designing & are being developed as Urban Knowledge Centres. These centers will impart computer training to women self help groups, to help them acquire professional competency. Convergence of Social Welfare entitlements to deserving citizens is one of our objectives for equitable growth opportunities.

24.          The Government has appointed 17 protection officers in all the districts of Delhi, under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act to protect women from physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse. 27 service centers have been registered, to provide services to aggrieved women.

25.          My Government has generated a good opportunity for unemployed youth to secure Government employment, by issuing an All-India Advertisement for recruitment of 10000 Drivers for DTC Buses.

26.          My government has endeavoured to enhance availability of water, for citizens of Delhi. The Government stands committed to further improve supply of potable water this year. After many years, an MoU for supply of Ganga water to the Bhagirathi Water Treatment Plant was signed thereby providing a legal framework for supply continuing since 1983. We are hopeful of signing an MoU for full supply of water to Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant very shortly. Once full supply to the plant is received, the production shall increase by another 30-35 MGD. We also hope to receive another 80 MGD of water on completion of the remaining portion of Munak canal by Haryana. The water that will be available on completion of this canal would be utilized for the proposed Water Treatment Plants at Dwarka and Okhla and for commissioning the Water Treatment Plant at Bawana.

27.          In order to further augment production, Delhi Jal Board will complete construction of recycling plants at Haiderpur, Wazirabad, Bhagirathi and Chandrawal Water Treatment Plants by September 2008. This will enable utilization of around 8% of the water, which is otherwise lost in the treatment process. This will add around 40-45 MGD to the existing distribution network – a major part of which will be available by this summer season. This additional water will not only cover new areas with fiitered water supply but will also improve availability in other colonies. The Delhi Jal Board is also hopeful of receiving water from the Bhakra Beas Management Board, so that the Nangloi Water Treatment Plant can function to its full capacity of 40 MGD. The increased production shall benefit large number of people in the areas of Hastsal, Nangloi, Najafgarh, Naseerpur and Palam.

28.          Delhi Jal Board is also undertaking construction of 53 new underground reservoirs and booster pumping stations all over Delhi. On completion, these UGRs will ensure a more equitable water distribution in large parts of Delhi. DJB plans to complete all 53 UGRs by December 2009.

29.          Delhi Jal Board is also taking the initiative for cleaning of river Yamuna. The interceptor sewers project of the DJB has been awarded for implementation to M/s Engineers India Ltd. For the citizens living in the rural villages of Delhi, action has commenced for laying internal sewer lines & all villages are expected to be completely sewered by the end of 2009.

30.          My Government has laid emphasis on the promotion of high-tech, low energy intensive and non-polluting industries in Delhi that can achieve optimum levels of production, using less space and power. The Government has implemented the scheme for conversion of flatted factories at Okhla Flatted Factories Complex, from rental to hire-purchase basis. 110 flatted factories have been converted from rental to hire-purchase. The Government would be expeditiously implementing the Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana providing quality health cover to workers and their families possessing below poverty line ration cards.

31.          For Welfare of the huge population living in unauthorized colonies, Government has constituted a “Board for Development of Unauthorized Colonies” and established a special fund for provision of water supply, sewerage, roads, drains, sanitation, community and related miscellaneous works. An outlay Rs. 2800 crore, for providing facilities in unauthorized colonies during eleventh plan period (2007-2012) has been proposed. During the year 2007-2008 Rs. 660 crore has been kept apart for providing facilities in unauthorized colonines. The Government is implementing the Scheme of Rajiv Ratan Awas in order to construct houses for the urban poor. A scheme to develop sewerage services in 189 villages has been taken up for implementation. Government has also taken up the matter regarding regularization of unauthorized colonies, which have come up as extension to village abadies.

32.          Delhi is among the greenest Capital cities of the world & we are proud of it. Tireless efforts of the Government in this direction, during the last few years, has led to substantial improvement in all critical indices. The green cover in Delhi has increased remarkably from 26sq. km. In 1997 to 300 in 2006, and led to marked improvement in the air quality.

33.          With development of infrastructure specially transport – the stress on felling of trees is increasing. The Delhi Government has laid emphasis on protection of trees and large-scale afforestation. Plantations have been raised on available land, such as city forests, along the drains, Yamuna banks, Gaon Sabha lands etc. While a lot has been done to make Delhi green, there is still need to create an institutional framework to make the citizens of Delhi as Bhagidars in this “Green Delhi” movement. There is need for the Delhities to contribute in the efforts of greening of Delhi. To encourage citizens’ participation, the Governmant intends to set up a society called the Delhi Parks and Gardens Society to facilitate the proper maintenance of parks and gardens and involve residents associations, in this endeavour.

34.          My government has enhanced the land acquisition prices almost three times from Rs. 24.97 lakhs per acre to Rs. 75.26 lakhs per acre in respect of agriculture land and Rs. 8.10 lakhs per acre to Rs. 25 lakhs per acre in respect of land situated in the river bed, to give adequate compensation to the farmer. My government has also enhanced the ex-gratia relief to the jhuggies dwellers in case of damage to jhuggies due to fire or riots. The ad-hoc monthly relief being extended to the J & K migrant has also been increased.

35.          The development process in Delhi is proceeding in the right direction at the desired pace. People’s participation has provided a powerful dimension to this. Delhi being both, a city-state and the National Capital attends to people from all parts of the country and from all walks of life, coming to work and making Delhi their home. My Government seeks to fulfill their aspirations, through sincere responsiveness & efforts.

36.          I have presented the highlights of my Government’s major policies and programmes, the accomplishments and the plans. The Finance Minister will spell out further details, in his Budget speech.

37.          I wish you all success in your deliberations.      

                   !! JAI HIND !!