Changing the narrative from his tainted image as the chief minister, under whose nose the 2002 Godhra riots took place, to an able leader who transformed the fortunes of an entire state, Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s Gujarat Development Model can largely be accredited for his widespread success nationally.
The same argument also strengthens the case for Arvind Kejriwal, who turns 50 today. The former IRS officer has been in charge of Delhi for around 2.5 years in his ongoing second stint as the Chief Minister of the state and has set examples in varied fields.
Be it health, be it education, the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s understated achievements have set the cornerstones for a stronger and more robust Delhi. And despite all the harsh criticism from the mainstream media and an uncooperative government at the Centre, the Muffler Man has quietly crept his way up the ladder as one of the most formidable candidates for the PM’s chair in 2019.
One of the key tenets of the AAP government has been the improvement of public healthcare in the region. Most notable among the efforts in this direction has been the Mohalla Clinic scheme that has seen the establishment of over a hundred such facilities within the first five months and treatment of over 8 lakh patients, as per government data.
This plan has also garnered praise from the likes of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and former WHO director general Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland as ‘a model for all Indian states’. Till February 2017, the Delhi Government had also a set up 36 multispecialty hospitals, including six Super Specialty Hospitals, with close to 1,000 free beds.
The movie Hindi Medium was a dark commentary on the reality of schools these days and the makers of the film would be happy to discover that the Delhi government has so far contracted more than 8,000 new classrooms (infrastructure equal to approximately 200 schools), 21 new school buildings and state-of-the-art facilities in a total of 54 schools.
It also prevented arbitrary fee hike in private schools, by auditing accounts of all schools on government allotted land. For the first time, numerous private schools had to roll back their fees and give a refund to parents, much akin to what the Irfan Khan-starrer advocated.
True to its election manifesto, the Kejriwal government did not hike electricity tarrif during 2015 and 2016. In addition, the 50 per cent subsidy on electricity charges for all domestic consumers consuming upto 400 units per month is being provided since March 2015.
Another key concern that has expertly been handled in Delhi by the AAP has been the water supply in the region. More than 12 lakh domestic unique water connections with functional meters have availed the benefit of free water supply upto 20,000 litres per month.
It’s worth mentioning that Water and Sewer Development Charges have also been reduced drastically from Rs 494/sqm to Rs 100/sqm.
Night shelters and more
Rehabilitating the homeless, the government has installed around 200 fully functional night shelters to house almost 17,000 people. Besides, 23 Rescue Teams are deployed with vehicles and manpower during winter, to rescue homeless.
For women safety, the government has also ensured the implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
Read the full list of achievements in the Delhi government’s two-year report card here.