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With its order to stop demolitions in the city until the government reviews the existing policies, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has set the ball rolling to fulfil the poll sops promised by the Aam Aadmi Party. Kejriwal, in the first Cabinet meet of the newly formed Delhi Government, also initiated the process to slash power subsidy by 50 per cent.
AAP ministers who attended the meeting said the election promise was not to demolish slums without a rehabilitation plan. They said the government plans to take a holistic view on the existing policy of carrying out demolitions of residential houses and jhuggis.
“The government has issued directions to various agencies, including New Delhi Municipal Council, North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, Delhi Jal Board, environment and forests, revenue department, etc, not to carry out any demolition till this review is completed,” the Cabinet release issued by Delhi government said.
AAP’s manifesto promises that slum dwellers will be provided plots or flats in the same location as the existing slums. If that is not possible, they will be rehabilitated in the closest possible location. Until such rehabilitation is completed, the slums will not be demolished.
“In case any demolition has already been planned or is in the pipeline, the agency concerned shall seek prior approval of the urban development minister. This order shall not apply to action taken in pursuance of court order,” a government official said.
Kejriwal on Monday directed the power and finance departments to ‘immediately’ send their proposals for implementing the party’s poll promise to slash power tariff by 50 per cent and to make provision for 20,000 litres of free water to every household.
The government has, however, maintained that the reduced power tariff will be on till the CAG audit into the accounts of private discoms is completed. The government has also directed officials to make provision for 20,000 litres of free water to every household.
Delhi government officials said the departments concerned will bring the proposal following which the finance department will assess the same.
The proposal will then be brought before the Cabinet after approval from the law department.
“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the finance and power departments to immediately send their proposals for implementation of the election promises to slash electricity tariff by 50per cent till the audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the private power companies (discoms) is completed,” the release said.
The government also initiated the process to fulfil the poll promise of deploying homeguards in DTC buses with Justice and Home Minister Jitender Singh Tomar writing to principal secretary home, seeking information on the number of homeguards in Delhi. Tomar said: “I have written to the official concerned and sought information on homeguards. Security of women is a top priority for us and we want to start fulfiling our promises at the earliest.”