The year also witnessed pollution levels soaring to hazardous heights, prompting the Aam Aadmi Party to implement the third edition of the odd-even scheme in November, distribute 50 lakh masks and prepare a seven-point action plan to deal with the menace.
The AAP government sought to fulfil pending pre-poll promises in 2019 and made a string of announcements like free-bus rides for women, no electricity charges of up to 200 units, free WiFi, free pilgrimage for senior citizens and waiver of development charges for new water and sewer connections. The Arvind Kejriwal dispensation also took several steps towards women’s safety which included installation of three lakh CCTV cameras and two lakh street lights across the city, deployment of 13,000 bus marshals and administration of pledge to male students of all schools to behave well with girls.
The year also witnessed pollution levels soaring to hazardous heights, prompting the Aam Aadmi Party to implement the third edition of the odd-even scheme in November, distribute 50 lakh masks and prepare a seven-point action plan to deal with the menace. In October, the AAP dispensation launched free ride for women in public transport buses on Bhai Dooj, asserting this would empower women and ensure their safety in the national capital.
The move was criticised by the BJP as a political step ahead of the Delhi assembly elections due early this year. An AAP functionary said that in the coming elections, Kejriwal and party leaders would seek votes based on the works done by the Aam Aadmi Party in the last five years. Earlier in the year, Kejriwal announced free power consumption up to 200 units and 50 per cent subsidy for those consumers using 201 to 400 units per month.
Later, tenants were also brought under the ambit of the scheme. During the year gone by, the AAP government also announced complete waiver of water arrears for people living in colonies categorised as E, F, G and H. Consumers of the other four categories (A-D) were given a rebate ranging from 25-75 per cent on their long-pending dues. The government also decided to waive development and infrastructure charges for new water and sewer connections in the city.
Kejriwal, who is also the chairman of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), in November said that people would have to pay just Rs 2,310 now to get new water and sewer connections. In 2019, nearly 1.3 lakh CCTV cameras were installed across Delhi while 1.7 lakh more are in the process under a Delhi government project aimed at ensuring safety of women. A senior government official said a total of three lakh CCTV cameras will be installed in all 70 assembly constituencies under the ambitious project being executed by the Public Works Department.
The government recently procured 428 new cluster buses equipped with panic buttons, CCTV cameras and Global Positioning System (GPS) device. Kejriwal also announced that his government would install three CCTV cameras, 10 panic buttons and GPS device in each of the existing 5,500 DTC and cluster buses, which he said is aimed at making women passengers feel safer in public transport. According to officials, 13,000 marshals are currently deployed everyday in all DTC and cluster buses, a move also directed at ensuring women safety.
The government also made it mandatory for all public vehicles, including buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis and cabs, to install GPS device so as to track their location in case of crime cases. In December, Kejriwal launched free WiFi scheme under which Delhiites can avail 15 GB free data every month.
The Delhi government also decided to raise the circle rates of agricultural land in national capital and it would now range between Rs 2.25 crore and Rs 5 crore per acre. According to the government, the circle rates have been raised from Rs 53 lakhs per acre to Rs 2.25 crore – Rs 5 crore per acre. The AAP government also launched Mukhyamatri Tirth Yojana under which senior citizens are offered free pilgrimage.
In December, 65,000 families living in slum areas were given ownership certificates under the newly-launched ‘Mukhyamantri Aawas Yojana’ for the residents of Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) clusters. While launching the scheme, Kejriwal said that his government would provide a pucca house to every citizen living in slums.