By Divya Kamboj,
Although a month is very insufficient to judge a person’s capability but with the mountains of promises made by AAP, let’s figure out the areas & the contribution made by our outright winner party. Arvind Kejriwal, the mild-mannered former tax official who leads the Aam Aadmi Party, announced on December 23, 2013 that his party would form a minority government having secured “outside support” from the Congress party that leads the national coalition. This party was finally formed after an unusual move i.e. to consult the voters to solve the dilemma of forming the government with the Congress or not.
There were many initiatives made by our very down to earth CM, Shree Arvind ji covering the transfer of government officials from various departments, helpline numbers, Water vows, attacking many ‘babus’ for fast track work, the power issues & many more here in Capital Delhi.
Firstly, let’s talk about the anti-graft helpline aimed at “empowering every citizen of the city” by allowing them to conduct sting operations on bribe-seeking officials. It received about one lakh calls in 20 days. However, official sources said 50% of these calls had been attended but only 1,200 complaints were found to be serious enough to pursue. However, the number of arrests made as a result of the sting operations remains at three, & does not support the figures given by the chief minister’s office. Government sources say this low rate of arrests has prompted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to seek the removal of five senior officers of the Anti-Corruption Branch. An appreciable move!!
The government announced a Rs 220-crore subsidy in the Power sector with the aim to slash tariff by 50% for consumption of up to 400 units. This was followed by a new meter testing drive and a helpline for those who suffer unscheduled outages for hours. AAP tried to waive the “inflated” bills of people who had not paid up since its ‘pre-poll bijli andolan’, but had to step back because of criticism. These power companies have threatened that they would go for long power cuts since they are unable to cover their costs due to lower tariffs.
The government has decided to make prescription of generic drugs compulsory in state-run hospitals but no step has been taken to ensure the availability of generic drugs in stores. Health minister Satyendra Jain has visited more than 25 hospitals in a month & admits that there are many problems. He has invited suggestions on his email ID [email protected] Officials said more than 2,000 mails have been received.
Instead of overturning the new nursery guidelines, education minister Manish Sisodia has given parents a helpline for complaints and boards with grievance-redress information at schools. Volunteers have checked schools and have been randomly checking with parents who call up the helpline. Sisodia has made ways for including common people in college governing bodies, but has drawn flak for trying to reserve seats for Delhiites in DU colleges.
Arvind Kejrival’s Dharna was mainly due to police inaction in cases of crime against women. Women and child development minister, Rakhi Birla has been making surprise checks late in the night since she took charge, but the promise of raising a commando force to provide security to anyone in distress (with special focus on women) is far from reality. CM announced the formation of ‘Mahila Suraksha Dal’ employing martial arts trainers. But no training has started so far and women are still not secure and are as vulnerable as they were before AAP came to power.
Within a week of taking Oath, the CM implemented a scheme to provide up to 20kl of free water to each family. Simultaneously, he created a condition for heavy users of water, increasing their tariff by 10% and stipulating that they would be charged even for the first 20kl on exceeding the free limit. The CM is working to wash out corruption in Delhi Jal Board. He has made the water tanker service more efficient, taken over unauthorized tube well connections, and is going over files pertaining to meters and the public-private partnership projects that are allegedly steeped in corrupt practices.
The most essential of all the promises:
Arvind Kejriwal had promised to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill on December 28, 2013. A month later, his government says the draft bill is in its final stage and will be put up for discussion before the cabinet on January 28. The government has said it will call a special assembly session after the cabinet clears the bill.
Now at times we find our CM commenting that his objective is not to form the government but only to pass the Jan Lokpall Bill. This party has been formed for the common man & will work always for them but Mr. CM it is not that flexible to change & reverse the existing conditions. All the best Sir.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.