The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Tuesday, its second day at work, held meetings to discuss its plans to provide 24×7 clean drinking water, deliver ration at doorstep, expand the entrepreneurship curriculum in its schools and launch a drive against substance abuse among children.
Kejriwal had a courtesy meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday. The chief minister also held a meeting with the new water minister Satyendar Jain and officers of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and asked them to begin groundwork to fulfil the AAP’s promise of providing round-the-clock clean drinking water across the city.
The chief minister will hold the government’s first cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning which will be followed by an all-department meeting to discuss ways to execute the 10-point guarantee card of the AAP which was released ahead of the February 8 elections in Delhi.
“The cabinet will decide the date for convening the first Assembly session, in which all the 70 MLAs will take oath. The date for presenting the 2020-21 Delhi Budget may also be decided. Projects such as 24×7 drinking water supply and doortstep delivery of ration are also likely to be tabled as agenda items. Then at 12 noon, Kejriwal has called all head of departments (HODs) of the Delhi government to discuss the 10 guarantees given by him during the elections,” said senior functionary in the CM office.
Food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain held a review meeting on the doorstep delivery of ration scheme on Tuesday and directed officials to ensure that should be no further delay in the implementation of the programme.
Promises such as making Delhi garbage free, cleaning the Yamuna, completing development works in unauthorised colonies, appointing ‘mohalla marshals’ and free bus rides to students will also be taken up during the meeting, the functionary said.
While Kejriwal did not come to the Secretariat on Tuesday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and other cabinet ministers attended office and held several meetings.
Expansion of the entrepreneurship curriculum
Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, held a review meeting of the ‘entrepreneurship mindset curriculum’ (EMC) and directed officials to engage 17,000 guest entrepreneurs who would hold classroom interactions with students enrolled in the course.
The EMC, developed by SCERT, Delhi, with the help of teachers and NGOs and introduced in the year 2019-20, focuses on providing real life professional experience to students. Last year, 4, 000 entrepreneurs had interacted with 3.10 lakh students.
“The sessions will include two-way interactions between 30-40 students and the guest entrepreneur. For a holistic exposure to the entrepreneurial set up, it is essential to get our students involved in field projects. Hence, we are planning to roll out field projects in April and July for classes 12 and 11 respectively. The Delhi government will be give seed money of Rs.1000 to each student for their field project,” said Sisodia after the meeting.
He added that the government will also start training sessions for officers, ‘mentor teachers’ and EMC coordinators, by April.
650 new buses by June
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot, in his first meeting with department officials, directed that 650 new buses should be rolled out by June.
“We will have 350 new buses (250 standard floor and 100 low-floor) by March. By June, we are expecting another batch of 300 buses, all of which will be low-floor air-conditioned buses under the cluster model,” said Gahlot.
New buses, procured by the Delhi government had started arriving in the city since last year. As of now, Delhi has over 6,200 state-run buses against the need of at least 10,000 buses, as stipulated in various court orders.
The minister also asked the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to prepare an action plan for rolling out the AAP’s scheme of offering free bus rides to students. In October last year, the AAP government had made rides free for women in all its DTC and cluster buses.
Drive against substance abuse among children
Women and child development (WCD) minister Rajendra Pal Gautam called a meeting of all officials of the department and asked them to devise “out of the box” policies for empowerment of women.
Apart from women empowerment, the Gautam emphasised on ending substance abuse amongs children in Delhi. “Substance abuse has become a major problem in Delhi. Teenagers and young adults are the most prone to it. There is an urgent need for an awareness campaign to tackle this problem in Delhi. I firmly believe that the problem of drugs can be dealt with proper education as well as creating more areas to engage the youth through sports and cultural activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, environment minister Gopal Rai has called a high-level meeting on February 20 to chalk out an action plan to tackle air pollution in the national capital. An official said top officers of the environment department have been asked to give a presentation of their plan on how to reduce pollution levels, especially in winter months, in the city.