All set to revamp the national capital and give it a grand makeover for the G-20 summit, Delhi Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot presented a Rs 78,800 crore Budget for 2023-24 on Wednesday, informing the state assembly that the financial document is dedicated to ‘saaf, sundar, aadhunik Dilli’.
“The upcoming budget is important for Delhi as we are hosting the G20. So this budget is dedicated to a clean, beautiful and modern Delhi,” said Gahlot, while delivering the Budget after two days of a standoff between the Centre and Aam Aadmi Party over high expenditure allocation for advertisements and publicity.
Delivering the ninth consecutive budget of the AAP government and his first, Gahlot said that the AAP government has allocated Rs 21,000 crore to make the capital clean, beautiful and modern.
Taking forward the city’s beautification drive, Gahlot said that the government will upgrade and beautify 1400 km of the entire Public Works Department (PWD) road network (to be built over 10 years). For this, Rs 2034 crore will be spent this year. The Government will also construct 29 new flyovers, including three unique double-decker flyovers.
He also said every possible help would be given to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to remove the problem of the three garbage mounds in the capital while stating that cleaning of the Yamuna river is a priority for the city government.
The city will deploy 250 additional water sprinklers cum anti smog gun machines and 70 road sweeping machines, Gahlot added.
The minister mentioned construction of three world-class Inter-State Bus Terminals (ISBTs), two multi-level bus depots, two modern bus terminals, and nine new bus depots in Delhi.
He also announced that to ensure last mile connectivity 1,900 e-buses would be inducted by end of 2023, and the move will reduce Co2 emissions by 1.07 lakh tonnes.
To take the introduction of electric vehicles in transport even further, the minister stated that the government will set up 900 new charging stations and 103 new battery swapping points, and also begin an e-scooter service pilot project.
Earlier in February, former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written a letter to the Centre, seeking a grant of Rs 927 crore to take up special development projects for the G20 summit. Sisodia had said the Delhi government will extend full cooperation to the Central Government for successfully hosting the G20 summit.
Kailash took over as finance minister when Sisodia resigned after being detained by the CBI in connection with the Delhi excise policy fraud case.
According to the officials, 26 Delhi government departments and central agencies are working on the preparations for the summit.
It is estimated that over Rs 1,000 crore will be spent by various Delhi government agencies for setting the stage for the G20 summit and related events to be held in the city in the coming months.
To spruce up the city for the summit, the PWD, the MCD and the NDMC will mainly be associated with civic infrastructure improvement and beautification work such as repairing roads and pavements, beautification of medians, pavements and traffic islands on major road stretches, illumination work, horticulture, installation of LED lights, and electric buses for the visitors and foreign delegates.
The estimated expenditure to be incurred by the PWD, the MCD and the NDMC will be to the tune of Rs 448 crore, Rs 249 crore and Rs 78 crore respectively.
Delhi will host eight G-20 events beginning March 1, 2023 with the meeting of G-20 foreign ministers and culminating with the meeting of heads of governments and states on September 9-10, 2023.