The Third Delhi Legislative Assembly

(First Session)

22nd DECEMBER, 2003

            Mr Speaker Sir and Hon’ble Members,

  I welcome you all to the first session of the newly elected Third Legislative Assembly of Delhi.
  I impress upon all of you Members of the newly elected Legislative Assembly to continue the fine traditions set by the Members of the last Assembly, thereby strengthening the role the Assembly can play in translating the people’s aspirations into a reality.
  I am pleased to place on record the cooperation of citizens, political parties and government officials which ensured a smooth and peaceful General Election to Delhi Legislative Assembly, 2003.
  My government thanks the citizens of Delhi for their spontaneous and over-whelming mandate. At the same time it is also extremely conscious of this greater responsibility reposed on it for a historic second term. This trust reposed in this government by the people of Delhi should caution it against any complacency. My Government with all humility pledge itself to the welfare of the people of Delhi and to the growth of our beloved city. A number of promises have been made during the General Elections to the Assembly. My Government has already begun work in right earnest in taking steps towards fulfillment of these promises.
  I will share with you the vision and the strategy of this government, which should unfold in the coming years. In its first term this government sought to lay the foundation of a philosophy of good governance based on three elements: citizen-government partnership, electronic governance and overhauling of work procedures and culture. In the last five years it has painstakingly prepared the ground and launched numerous initiatives under the umbrella of this strategy.
  In continuation, the government now pledges to consolidate its earlier achievements and try and turn Delhi into a world class city-state. A city that all Indians can be proud of. A city with international class roads, bridges, flyovers redefining interconnectivity. A city with modern, eco-friendly, cost–effective and efficient modes of transportation through a well-integrated multi-modal transport system. A city with uninterrupted supply of power and water. A city with modern amenities and excellent services of sanitation and sewage disposal. A city where the basic needs and the rights and entitlements of each citizen is fulfilled. A city where the fruits of development reache the last man and woman. A city where every citizen is an enabled citizen. A city where every citizen is a happy citizen. And to this end my Government will take up the issue of grant of statehood for Delhi keeping in mind the views and aspirations of the people.
  This vision can only be realised to its fullest extent through an active partnership of citizens with an open, accountable and responsive government. Governance as an interactive process involves various forms of partnership - no single actor, public or private, has the knowledge or resource capacity to tackle problems unilaterally. This belief of my Government had found its expression in ‘Bhagidari’: the Citizen-Government Partnership. This has evoked in people a desire to be part of the democratic system and has helped channelise citizen volunteerism. ‘Bhagidari’ will continue to be the guiding spirit and ethos of this government. The government will take the necessary steps to institutionalise this participatory framework of governance with sufficient budgetary support.
  A modern global city is the immediate agenda of my government. Upscaling infrastructure is the topmost priority. The troika of power, water and transport services is a crucial determinant of the quality of life of our citizens and therefore will remain the immediate concern. The reforms in the Power sector have already shown results and my Government will further consolidate this breakthrough. My Government proposes to secure to establishment of large size gas based power plants at Bawana, and at Indraprastha to make Delhi reduce its dependence on the Northern grid and other outsources. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission will be further strengthened to look into the grievances of the consumers and to ensure a level-playing field among the stakeholders. My Government proposes to ensure that enhanced water supply shall be made available to the people of Delhi by making the 140 MGD Sonia Vihar project functional by the summer of 2004. A 20 MGD plant under construction in Bawana and 90 MGD water canal will be completed and water will come through Haryana to Delhi. My Government is conscious of the fact that to be a global city we need to have a world-class network of roads with a modern public transport system. Efforts shall be made to augment the quality of roads to international standards. Vigilant groups of citizens would be associated in monitoring this task. The network of flyovers and grade separators would be further extended to reduce traffic congestion. The spectacular beginning made by the opening of the Metro will be continued relentlessly. Other measures for augmenting road-based mass transit, enhancing passenger carrying capacity of identified road corridors, and introducing High Capacity Urban Buses and Electric Trolley Buses on these corridors would be undertaken. By improving these basic essentials of infrastructure the prime goal of my Government is to enable citizens to go about their daily chores and tasks with the least difficulty and maximum comfort.
  The cornerstone of this development is the citizen of Delhi. Development with a human face is the priority of my Government. The aim is happier citizens. The goal is to improve the quality of life of each individual in this city. The government would like to ensure the modernisation of our health services especially our primary health centres and our super specialty hospitals. The government wants to achieve hundred percent literacy and good standard and clean schools for our children. It wants an increasing association of women in governance and to this extent new programmes will be taken up under ‘Stree Shakti’. A gender friendly administration, which is already in place, will take more gender friendly initiatives to ensure that the last woman at her home and workplace is confident and secure. The government wants to galvanise the youth and will work on employment generating schemes. It wants to review and redesign the programmes for the Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes, minorities and the weaker sections of the society. The government wants the city to be disabled friendly. It wants to focus on the problems of the slums and the unauthorised colonies. The government wants to provide low-cost housing to the poor and marginalised. The government wants the rural areas of Delhi to be vibrant and prosperous. The government wants the extension and strengthening of Lal Dora of villages, consistent with the vision of balanced and planned development of Delhi. This Government is concerned with the deteriorating facilities in the existing industrial estates and clusters in Delhi and will work towards their resurgence. The well being of traders will be taken care of and the distributive character of Delhi protected.
  This government intends to continue providing a transparent system of governance. In the first term the Government had taken the step of empowering citizens to seek information through the Right to Information Act. My Government aims at provision of hassle-free service in minimum time. For this special emphasis will be put on tackling corruption in all public dealing departments. To ensure that transactions are completed in the most transparent manner e-Governance will be extensively used in all government offices with public interface. Citizen government e-interface will also be improved. The issue of restructuring of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi into more manageable administrative units will be pursued as a step towards making civic administration more transparent and accountable.
  The glory of this city was once closely associated with the River Yamuna. Therefore, a major concern of my government would be the rejuvenation of the River Yamuna. The problems of sewerage, lack of dilution, relocation of jhuggis on the banks, setting up of STPs, will be looked into in greater detail. My Government will seek the assistance of national and international agencies, of neighbouring states and of all stakeholders in this endeavour.
  I have given an outline of the vision and agenda of my Government. However, my Government intends to work exhaustively in all areas of citizen’s concerns and will give a detailed account of these plans during the Budget session. I wish to conclude by enjoining upon the members to remember the oath they have taken while being sworn-in as members of this august Assembly. The members should collectively resolve that the confidence reposed in them by the people of Delhi will be re-paid through self-less dedication towards improving the quality of life of the citizens of Delhi and making Delhi a world-class city-state.
  I wish you all success in this endeavour.