A day before the new AAP government is sworn in, three of its seven Cabinet ministers outlined their focus areas for the coming five years. The priorities — passing the Lokpal Bill, providing drinking water, providing cheaper water and power, women’s security and improving maternal and child health — reflect the AAP’s election manifesto promises.
Manish Sisodia, who is believed to retain the Urban Development and Education departments from the last AAP government, said, “Lokpal is one of the primary agendas. Education is in a very bad condition in Delhi. People are ashamed of sending their children to a government school because of the low quality of education there. I want to take education in government schools to such a high level that it becomes a status symbol.”
The deputy chief minister said providing drinking water and building a proper sewage system were also among his top priorities.
“A lot of colonies have choked sewer lines. Even in Mayur Vihar you get contaminated water in your taps. Other core issues that I want to look at are women’s security, cleanliness of streets, maintenance of parks and providing parking facilities,” he said.
Like Sisodia, Satyendra Jain will be retaining his earlier portfolio, Health.
Speaking about his priorities, Jain said, “After the swearing-in, we will continue with our mandate, and all the initiatives I tried to build last time. I will make hospitals functional, which have been lying virtually unused for years.”
Jain said, “Capacity building is a focus area, particularly in maternal and child healthcare. We will stick to our target of adding 5,000 beds in this sector. To start with, we will make it easier to get medicines, to get tests done and to see a doctor.”
Improving the sex ratio of Delhi, “particularly in posh areas, such as South Delhi, which have the worst child sex ratio”, and neonatal care are other focus areas, he said.
Stating that issues related to power and water were the party’s primary concerns, Gopal Rai said he would look at fulfilling the AAP’s promise of reducing electricity bills by half and providing up to 700 litres of water to each household for free.
He elaborated on the measures that the party will take in his Babarpur constituency.
“The constituency does not have a dispensary or an educational institution. Now that we have been voted to power, the promises made during the polls will be fulfilled,” Rai said.