Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today that he was “surprised” to know that Lt. Governor Anil Baijal had formed six task forces to deal with traffic congestion in the city. In a letter to Baijal, Kejriwal said he and his ministers were not aware of these task forces. In an apparent attack on the bureaucrats who have been at loggerheads with the AAP government, Kejriwal said officers would not be able to handle the issue and that the people and experts should be involved to find out an effective solution to traffic woes. The chief minister’s letter comes a day after Baijal wrote to him saying he was already handling the issue, responding to Kejriwal’s note to the chief secretary seeking a list of major traffic bottlenecks. “It was a pleasant surprise for me…that you (LG) have constituted six task forces of various departments to deal with traffic congestion, which have been working for a few months. In your letter, you said these task forces have completed most of work. “In fact, I and my ministers did not know about this (task forces), else I would not have directed the transport commissioner separately about it,” Kejriwal said in the letter. He said that Delhiites were fed up with traffic problem. “I meet around 100 people every day. There is a proverb in English, ‘the wearer knows where the shoe pinches’. People know about their problems and their solution very well. Sometime, people can tell about effective solution,” he said. He also said, “Officers won’t be able to find out the solution of this problem. People and experts should also be taken on board to find an effective solution and we together will have to make its draft,” the chief minister added.
Yesterday, Baijal had informed Kejriwal that he had formed six task forces in January to identify congested corridors and suggest short, medium and long term solutions. The LG’s office had said Baijal took suo motu cognisance of media reports that Kejriwal had sought a list of major traffic bottlenecks from the chief secretary by August 15. This was for the first time Baijal’s office has issued a statement on the chief minister’s letter on any issue.
“The Lt. Governor in a letter to the chief minister apprised him of considerable work that has already been done on this issue as traffic decongestion in Delhi has been a priority area for him since he assumed office in December 2016,” the LG’s office said in a statement.