The Second Delhi Legislative Assembly

(Budget Session)

26th MARCH, 2002

            Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon’ble Members,

  I welcome you to the Budget Session of the Second Legislative Assembly of Delhi for the year 2002.
  My address last year began with a reference to the devastating earthquake in the State of Gujarat in which thousands of people perished and many more were justify injured and homeless. Our immediate response was to announce that the government would adopt Jawahar Nagar Village in the remote corner of the State. Three hundred dwelling units have been built by my Government and handed over to the earthquake affected victims. This is our small contribution for their rehabilitation. It is ironic that again I have to refer to another tragedy in Gujarat, this time a man-made disaster. I express deep anguish and I am sure the House will join me in castigating the violence that snatched away so many innocent lives, causing so much agony and suffering. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and reaffirm faith in secularism and the tenets of a plural society. I know the citizens of Delhi would join us in denouncing all those who incite hatred and espouse communalism.
  Last December terrorism had raised its ugly head with the dastardly attack on Parliament which was foiled successfully at personal cost to members of the police force. My government condemns terrorism in the strongest possible terms and reaffirms faith in the tenets of secularism.
  Delhi has seen the fruition of a number of initiatives taken during the last year. Among these, the move to privatize the distribution of power heads the list. This much-awaited development is poised to take place within the next two months which signifies an opportunity to instill much needed efficiency into managing the distribution of power, accountability among the staff and stability in the supply of power to the people of Delhi. Side-by-side, the first turbine of the 330 MW Pragati gas based power plant has just been commissioned. This is the first power generation project to have come up after a gap of over 14 years to be followed soon by the commissioning of two more turbines by the close of the year. Overall also there has been a perceptible improvement in DVB’s functioning with the highest ever peak demand of 2879 MW having been met last summer. Under the 400 KV – Ring Project, the Mandola-Bawana and Bawana-Bamnauli sections were commissioned and the overhauling of gas turbines is making good progress.
  The Delhi Jal Board was able to augment production of water from 580 MGD to 650 MGD. The 40-MGD water treatment plant at Nangloi was commissioned. The construction of a 20-MGD water treatment plant at Bawana is nearing completion. Work on the 140 MGD state-of-the-art Water Treatment Plant at Sonia Vihar is in full swing. Seven new sewerage treatment plants were commissioned in the last two years. Sewerage treatment capacity has increased from 284 MGD to 482.4 MGD. To rationalise water distribution, 4 underground reservoirs and booster pumping stations were commissioned. New water mains were laid over 169 kms., and 345 kms. of water distribution lines were replaced.
  The construction of 15 Common Effluent Treatment Plants continues to make good progress. The plants at Wazirpur, Mangolpuri and Mayapuri were completed. 1500 industrial units have installed individual ETPs to treat effluent wastes. The quantification of hazardous waste generation was undertaken which would delineate the extent of pollution to enable us to target the most vulnerable points. I am glad to say that during 2001, according to the assessment of the Central Pollution Control Board, substantial improvement has been recorded in the ambient air quality compared with the previous year. Environment Impact Assessment studies for hazardous waste disposal were carried out at Bawana, Guman-Hera and Wazirpur through the National Productivity Council. The ‘Clean Yamuna’ Campaign has been launched. The Eco-Club movement has become popular in schools making children our protagonists for a clean environment culture. The campaign ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ has been given statutory backing by enacting a law against plastic bags and non-biodegradable waste.
  Development of new Industrial areas for relocation of industries operating in residential/non-conforming areas has progressed ahead of schedule. About 1162 industrial plots developed by DSIDC in the model industrial complex of Narela, Baadli, Patparganj and Jhilmil have been allotted to the relocating industries. Over 15000 plots would be ready for being handed over to the relocating industries by April 2002. To provide 16,000 additional plots the DDA have already identified 2000 acres of land and the process of land acquisition has been initiated.
  Road Transportation was revolutionized with the unprecedented induction of more than 2000 new CNG buses into the Delhi Transport Corporation’s fleet. The city now has over 46000 CNG run vehicles and DTC’s own fleet has created world history as no other country has a fleet of this size running completely on CNG. Additionally electronic meters are being introduced which would ensure that the fares are correct and the citizens are not charged excess fares.
The strengthening and resurfacing of roads and the construction of flyovers at Punjabi Bagh, Safdarjung, Andrewsganj, Dhaula Kuan and Mayapuri have been taken up which will greatly reduce traffic congestion. Once the National Highway Authority of India takes up the Western Peripheral Expressway (connecting the four national highways NH-1, NH-10, NH-8 and NH-2) under the National Highway Development Project, the outbound traffic which today converges into Delhi will be further dispersed. The Government is spearheading the early commencement of this project and land acquisition is to be taken up in a time-bound manner.
A model Delhi Co-operative Societies Bill, 2001 has been prepared to devolve greater autonomy on co-operative institutions while ensuring accountability. A women’s cooperative bank has been registered to be managed completely by women. The ‘Delhi Social Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation’ was set up to provide the much needed impetus to low-cost housing.
To help the rural farmers to derive adequate compensation for land acquired for development purposes, the minimum rate for valuation of agricultural land has been increased to Rs.15.7 lacs per acre. Besides, 30% solatium will be payable to Delhi farmers.
The Government accorded high priority to the education sector. During the Ninth-Plan period 46 new schools were opened, 106 schools were upgraded, and 19 schools bifurcated. Computer science was introduced as a subject at the + 2 stage was made functional in 115 schools and introduced in 248 more schools. School infrastructure – buildings, classrooms and appurtenant facilities have been steadily built up.
The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University now has 51 affiliated institutions/colleges. More than 1000 seats were added in professional courses in the institutions affiliated to GGSIP University. The University also started its own law school offering a five years integrated L. L. B. program. Construction of the DR. B. R. Ambedkar College building has been completed and the Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences at Dwarka is expected to move into the new premises from the ensuing academic session. The Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, associated with the Safdarjung Hospital, the National Power Training Institute, the Ambedkar Institute of Technology and four privately managed self-financing institutes of Higher Education were also affiliated with the University during the year.
During the year, the Dr. B. S. A. Hospital, Rohini and M.B. Hospital, Pootkhurd were commissioned. A Trauma Centre has started functioning at GTB hospital which was an acute need in East Delhi. The construction of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital at Tahirpur is in full swing. 34 new allopathic dispensaries and 33 more dispensaries under Indian System of Medicine started functioning. In addition, 4 peripheral hospitals started providing round-the-clock emergency services as well as maternity and operation services and indoor facilities. 30 new ambulances have been added to the Centralised Accident Trauma Fleet (CATS).
The Government moved into new complex at Delhi Sachivalaya near the I.G. Stadium on 3.12.2000. This modern office is symbolic of the kind of governance this Government seeks to deliver. The human face of the Government was evident through the enactment of the Delhi Right to Information Act, 2001, a public affirmation of the Government’s commitment to openness and transparency. The ‘Bhagidari – Citizen Government Partnership’ was expanded to all districts. From a movement with 20 Resident Welfare Associations there are now nearly 840 citizen’s groups. ‘Bhagidari’ has specifically targeted Reforms in Hospital Management, a campaign against littering and Plastic Bags, Water conservation and water harvesting, establishment of Vidyarthi Kalyan Samitis in schools and special programmes for senior citizens. The public response has been overwhelming. The ‘Streeshakti’ programme has been launched with the objective of extending outreach services connected with up gradation of basic health care and education facilities for the women from poorer sections of society.
Social Security to socially disadvantaged groups and protection to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes has been a priority of my Government. During the past year the Government constituted the Commission for SC/ST in Delhi. It also introduced new schemes for providing financial assistance to the weaker sections and interest-free loans for degree education and vocational training. A ‘composite loan scheme’ was introduced to provide loans upto Rs. 50,000 to a Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe applicant without involving the banks. Upto January 2002, a loan of Rs. 98.47 lakhs has been disbursed under this scheme to 221 beneficiaries. The Directorate of SC/ST is also expanding its activities to cover the Other Backward Classes.
The Old Age Pension Scheme has been enhanced from January this year from Rs.200 – Rs.300 per month. Similarly, assistance to widows has also been increased during the year.
A scheme for the 1984 riot victims have been reintroduced by the Government from its own resources. Government has also waived the loan and penal interest in respect of the ’84 riot victims who had availed of loans from the Delhi Co-operative Housing Financial Corporation and has already compensated the Corporation on this account.
The Delhi Commission for Women since its reconstitution in January 2000, has formed Mahila Panchayats to create legal awareness among women. Continuing the work begun in the ‘Women Empowerment Year’ the government started the ‘Helpline’, ‘Sahayogini’ and ‘Sahara’ schemes for the protection of vulnerable women. ‘Saheli looks after the victims of domestic violence and the problems that beset hopeless women.
Planning and Supervision of civic services in Delhi is today being done in a multifaceted way. It is imperative for the benefit and convenience of the citizens of Delhi that there is greater cohesion between different organizations. Re-organisation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is step of the measures to achieve this goal. Plans for this have been evolved by my Government after an expert Committee has gone into the matter and given its recommendations. Similarly many of the laws that directly impact on the governance of the metropolitan city were enacted nearly 5 decades ago when there was no popularly elected government need modification. IN the changed scenario there is an urgent need to review the constitutional powers of the elected government, to effectively steer the matters impacting on the planning of the city and the provisions of civic services.
Rapid urban growth, apart from creating opportunities for people to improve their livelihood, also places an enormous strain on the common services. In recognition of this fact, it is planned to provide a larger proportion of funds to local bodies to improve services, particularly in slum and JJ clusters, and resettlement colonies. A new scheme for low cost housing is being planned and funds will accessed from the Valmiki Ambedkar Malin Basti Awas Yojna (VAMBAY) scheme to augment resources. Apart from this, the policy on relocation of JJ Colonies has been reviewed and a regular programme for upgradation and environmental improvement of slums is being implemented by the Slum Wing of MCD.
With the increased pace of urbanization, various agencies of government and the private sector are seeking permissions for road digging to lay cables, pipes and sewers. A new Digging Code has been adopted by all land owning agencies like MCD, PWD and NDMC to facilitate coordination between the agencies.
In order to put a check on encroachment on government land, District Task Forces have been constituted to keep a vigilant eye on unauthorized structures and to take immediate action to remove them. Out of approximately 374 hectares of land which are encroached upon, already 119 hectares of land has been recovered from encroachment after following due process of law.
The Trans-Yamuna Board was constituted to take up the development 16 Assembly constituencies across the river. A socio-cultural complex is being constructed at Lakshmi Nagar to be followed by another complex at Shahdara. Twelve community halls are being set-up out of which 5 are complete. In order to improve water supply, underground water reservoirs at Yamuna Vihar, Jagatpuri, Mandoli, Surajmal Vihar, New Seemapuri, Nand Nagri and Gazipur are at different stages of completion. The work on widening and improvement of roads along the Gazipur drain is nearing completion. The Board spent Rs.72 crores on improving the infrastructure in East Delhi and this year the amount has been increased to Rs.88 crores.
The growth of the city begs for a strong interface with the development of the National Capital Region. Unfortunately, even after two decades, the vision of a vibrant and developed NCR remains a dream. There is need to infuse the economic strength of the national capital into adjoining areas by establishing a Common Economic and Common Opportunity Zone. The Capital cannot afford to provide shelter and employment to 1000 new persons each day, 350,000 persons each year. The policy of the Government is to assume a pivotal role in matters impacting on the development of NCR and Delhi’s recent contribution comes from conceiving of the rail network to the satellite towns and giving a thrust to the Western Peripheral Expressway for which funds have been set aside for land acquisition.
The Government is conscious of the need to be adequately equipped to respond to natural and men made disasters. Serious efforts have been made to evolve a Disaster Management Plan. The seismic microzonation of Delhi is to be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology. New buildings are now required to meet enhanced standards of structural stability consistent with high intensity earthquake stipulations. Efforts are being made to strengthen buildings responsible for providing critical services so that they remain operational at all times. The Government is well on the way to establishing three Disaster Management Centers at the fire stations of Nehru Place, Laxmi Nagar and Rohini. Delhi Fire Service will maintain specialized equipments. Training has been imparted to Delhi Police personnel who will run the services. The three Disaster Management Centers are shortly to acquire Hazmat Vans carrying modern equipments to deal with chemical disasters.
As Members of the House are aware, the Government has very recently formulated the Tenth Five Year Plan in consultation with the Planning Commission. It is a matter of satisfaction that the size of Plan is significantly higher than the Ninth Plan, more than twice the outlay which would have been spent during the Ninth Plan. The Plan is predicated on the clear recognition that reforms are critical to improve governance and increase return on investment. The reform agenda includes sectoral policies, restructuring of public sector undertakings, revitalization of public utilities, and qualitative improvement in the delivery of social services. Policy reforms are necessary for building public-private partnerships and creating an enabling environment that attracts private investment. Equally, there is need for reforms within the Government which simplify procurement and tendering procedures and support the adoption of newer technology. For these reasons, the Tenth Plan is not a mere aggregation of resources. It is an articulation of a reform agenda that encourages competition, transparency and innovativeness by drawing in a large number of players within and outside the government, supplying both goods and services.
The government has drawn up an ambitious agenda for the coming years. The sewage treatment plant at Rithala, Rohini, Mehrauli, Nilothi and Yamuna Vihar and the new pumping stations at Chilla, Yamuna Vihar, Pahari Dheeraj and Karol Bagh will also be completed next year. Other prominent features include the supply and treatment of raw water; the overhauling of the water distribution network to reduce unaccounted losses; dedicated plans for rain-water harvesting; the recharging of aquifers; the desilting of trunk and subsidiary sewer lines. The Government is also going in for institutional reform and restructuring of the Delhi Jal Board. Consultants are already in place. By the end of 2002 the road map for reform will be drawn up including identification of projects that can be posed for external funding.
The transfer, treatment and disposal of solid-waste will be modernized in the next two years. Plans for recycling solid-waste are already on the anvil. Negotiations have been held for setting up more land fill sites at Haryana/U.P. and MCD has been encouraged to mechanize and modernize its collection and disposal practices. The coming year will see the Corporation augmenting its capacity to remove solid waste by 8000 M. Tonnes.
The government is committed to providing an efficient and affordable public transport system. The Shahdara-Tis Hazari MRTS corridor will be completed before the end of 2002. Work on three priority projects on the regional rail network will begin : the Shahdara-Sahibabad-Ghaziabad rail link; the Dayabasti-Bijwasan-Gurgaon rail link; and the Sahibabad-Tilak Bridge-Minto Bridge rail link. Eight more flyovers and grade-separators will be completed and opened to traffic in the next two years. A major challenge is construction of a public transport based on multi modal system as the integration of MRTS and the roadway system is critical to optimal utilization of investment in both. A High Powered Committee has been set-up to look at all alternatives which are cost effective and capable of being meshed into the MRTS and the existing road transport system.
Yet another initiative centers around the reform and restructuring of DTC. Since road transport still remains the dominant mode, it is imperative to strengthen it further. This requires a re-look at the structure, finances and management of DTC, and the possibility to engineer public-private partnerships for efficient delivery of transport services.
In the health sector expansion of the G. B. Pant hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur hospital, the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital and the Institute of Human Behavior & Allied Sciences are planned. Construction of new hospitals at Geeta Colony, Shastri Park, Vasant Kunj and a Super-Speciality hospital at Janakpuri and Multi-therapy center at Khera Dabur are being taken up. 800 new beds would be added within the year. A 140 bedded Emergency-cum-Trauma Block at DDU Hospital Complex will be commissioned. OPD services at the newly constructed oncology block in Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, will be started in 2002-2003.
In the Education sector, a major thrust will be on qualitative improvement of infrastructure and functioning of government schools. Facilities in computer education will be made available in a phased manner in all Government and Government aided schools.
The campus of GGSIP University will be built at Dwarka and Surajmal Vihar. A new engineering college will be opened at Geeta Colony. In order to make Delhi a world class cyber state by the year 2003, the Delhi Government has planned to set up a state-of-the-art ‘Hi-tech city for Information Technology’ with the best communication links, uninterrupted power supply with back up power generation and other advanced technical facilities. With a view to establishing and developing Industry-University-R&D linkages, a ‘Biotechnology Park’ is being set up in collaboration with Delhi University which will help in the up gradation of technology of existing industry and development of high-tech and non-polluting industries in Delhi.
It has been decided to popularize high-tech agriculture including compost production through new technology to increase agricultural productivity and generate additional employment for rural farmers. It has also been decided to take up specific programmes for the development of herbal gardens and encourage the cultivation of medicinal plants.
I have presented my Government’s major policies and programmes both accomplished and planned. Delhi, as you all know, belongs to the whole country. It is unique, as it is both a city-state and the National Capital. It has the highest per-capita income in the country and it has also an overwhelming share of the urban poor who reside in Jhuggi clusters and unauthorized colonies. Residents of the city come from all parts of the country and all walks of life who have chosen to make Delhi their home. My Government seeks to fulfill their aspirations through sincere responsiveness and problem solving. But in doing so the Government strives to keep Delhi green, to keep Delhi clean, to keep Delhi worthy for future generations to live in.
I wish the deliberations in this session of the House all success.