Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday heaped praises on the State Budget 2023. He said that Budget 2023 was unveiled with a vision to transform Delhi into a ‘Clean, Beautiful & Modern Delhi’. The budget, which has increased 2.5x under the AAP government, will leave no stone unturned in making this vision a reality, he remarked. The Chief Minister praised Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot for his efforts to uphold the legacy of former Deputy Chief Minister Shri Manish Sisodia. “Delhi is missing Manish Sisodia today, but Finance Minister Kailash Gahlot has done a great job to hold his legacy,” said Kejriwal. The Delhi Budget has increased from 30,940 crores in 2014 to 78,800 crores in 2023. Despite giving many “freebies”, the budget remains profitable, making it a unique case as other states do not give anything for free and are at a loss. The AAP government has prioritised infra projects such as the beautification of roads, building 26 flyovers, 3 double-decker flyovers, electrification of bus depots, 1400 bus queues, cleaning of Yamuna, and elimination of the garbage mountain. The Delhi Metro network has increased from 193km to 390km, and the number of metro stations has risen from 140 to 286. Additionally, 7389 buses are running in Delhi, which is an all-time high. The AAP government has increased the water supply from 870-880 MGD to 995 MGD and aims to increase it to 1250 MGD by 2025. Furthermore, in 2015, 985 unauthorised colonies had water pipelines. The AAP government has laid 5138 km of pipe and increased it to 1671 colonies. The government will increase the number of free medical tests from 250 to 400 in mohalla clinics, which will also be opened at metro stations. Additionally, 100 women mohalla clinics will be opened in Delhi. The government will also build 9 new hospitals, increasing the number of beds from 14,000 to 30,000 to meet WHO standards. In conclusion, the Delhi Budget 2023 highlights the AAP government’s commitment to the welfare of the citizens of Delhi, making it a model state in terms of development and progress.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that there was something for everyone in the Budget that was presented today, and added that all the surveys highlight that inflation is at the lowest level across the country in Delhi, and this is because the Delhi Government provides several facilities to the citizens for free, such as electricity, water, education, healthcare and so on. He added that most other state governments do not provide facilities such as this and yet run into losses, but in Delhi despite giving such facilities, the Budget of the Delhi Government is in profit.
He added that in this Budget the state government has decided to continue the facilities provided to the residents of Delhi, so that it will continue to provide them relief from the soaring inflation across the country. He also said that the state government’s fight against corruption will continue and all the faceless services provided by the state government will continue and will further be enhanced in other departments of the Delhi Government. He also said that the Doorstep delivery of services will continue and this will also benefit the citizens as there will be no middlemen to extort them.
The Delhi CM said that in the last couple of years under the AAP government there has been a tremendous improvement particularly in the department of transport. In 2015, the expansion of metro services was 193 kilometres long and there were 140 metro stations. This has now extended to 390 kilometres, which is more than double and there are 286 metro stations. Also in 2015, there were 5600 buses in Delhi and this has now increased to 8379. “Last year in the Budget we had announced that we would turn Delhi into a ‘City of National Flags’, and now when you travel in Delhi you are bound to see some of them as there are 550 National Flags in different parts of the city. So, this shows that the AAP Government keeps the promises that it makes to the people,” he said.
He added that one of the priorities in this Budget was to turn Delhi into a clean and hygienic city. He said that Delhi is the capital of India and therefore the cleanliness in the city should reflect that as well. The Delhi CM also announced that there is a huge infrastructure push and therefore Rs 21,000 crore will be spent to improve the infrastructure within the city. He said that the Budget that was presented in 2014-15 was of Rs 30, 940 crore. This time around it is a Budget of Rs 78, 800 crore. The Delhi CM added that this has happened only because in the National Capital there is an honest government that has plugged all the gaps in revenue and expenditure. He said that it is a proud fact for the citizens of Delhi that the National Capital is progressing at a rate of 9 percent, while the National economy is growing at the rate of 7 percent.
Highlighting that sanitation will be one of the priorities of the state government, the CM said that there are nine points on which the state government will work to make Delhi a clean and hygienic city. The first is that all the roads that are above 60 feet wide will be cleaned by the PWD. The Delhi CM also added that PWD has a total road length of 1400 kms under it. He said that the department will procure 70 mechanical sweepers and these roads will be cleaned on a regular basis. He also said that daily the footpath and the central divider will be cleaned by the department and for this purpose the anti-smog machines will be procured. He also added that 250 small water sprinklers will be procured and distributed to each ward in Delhi besides 210 large water sprinklers that will be used by the PWD. He added that the entire 1400 kilometres of roads under the PWD will be repaired one at a time, and all the dividers that are empty at the moment will get plants to increase greenery in the area. He also said that every three months, the roads and the signage including the zebra crossing will be repainted. He also said that every five years the roads will be re-carpeted and that there will be no potholes in the city. He also said that all encroachments across the city will be removed as well.
Keeping the focus on improving infrastructure in the city, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the AAP Government has already built 28 flyovers in the city and is working on another 26 flyovers in different parts of Delhi. He added that some of these projects are in their advanced stages. He also added that three unique double-deckers flyovers will be built in Delhi. Explaining the concept behind this idea, the CM said that around 4-5 years ago, the Delhi Government conceptualised it and said that their construction will save a lot of public money.
He also said that 1600 new electric buses will be procured by the state government this year, and added that the target was to have 10,480 buses in Delhi by 2025, which would be sufficient to cater to the needs of its residents. By 2025, 80 percent of them will be electric, and at that point Delhi will be one of the few cities in the world where so many electric buses will be running at the same time. He also said that with such a big fleet of electric buses, depots are also required where these buses can stay at night and get charged and therefore 57 bus depots in Delhi will be electrified.
The Delhi CM also announced that three modern bus ports, along the lines of an airport, will be developed in Delhi in Anand Vihar, Sarai Kale Khan and Dwarka. He also added that two multi-level bus depots will be constructed in Delhi, and it will be the first in the country. He added that buses will be parked on the six floors of these facilities. Two modern bus terminals and nine new bus depots will also be created in Delhi, highlighting the massive push in the transport department in the country. He also added that 1400 new bus queue shelters will be created and these will have modern displays providing citizens the details about when the bus will arrive and so on.
Cleaning of the Yamuna river has always been a focus point for the Delhi Government and the CM said that a six-point action plan has been formed for this purpose. As part of it, new STPs and decentralised STPs will also be constructed, the current STPs will also be upgraded and with this the capacity of Delhi to treat sewage will be increased to 890 MGD. In 2015, this capacity was only 370 MGD, he said.
In a landmark decision, the Delhi Government has decided to provide free sewer connections to the households of Delhi that still lack a connection. Explaining the rationale behind this move, Shri Arvind Kejriwal explained that in several parts of Delhi, including the Trans-Yamuna region, the sewer lines have been placed in all colonies, but since the sewer connection is expensive, several households have still not got a connection and they release their waste into the drains that go into the river. To stop this problem, the Delhi Government will now provide free sewer connections to the households of Delhi. He added that when the AAP Government was formed in 2015, then only 227 colonies in Delhi had a sewer connection. He added that by the end of this year 1317 colonies will have a sewer connection.
In another important step, the Delhi CM announced that the three landfills referred to as “Mountains of Garbage” in Delhi will be eliminated by December 2024. He also added that the Nagar Nigams are being given an extra loan of Rs 850 crore to aid in the cleaning of landfills.
Speaking about the Mohalla Clinics in Delhi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that currently 250 medical tests are provided free of cost to the residents of Delhi and soon this will be increased to 450 tests. He added that more Mohalla Clinics will be opened within metro stations as this will make it easy for commuters to get themselves tested. He also added that the Delhi Government had tried a unique experiment of Mahila Mohalla Clinics and is running four of them at the moment. Soon, this will be increased to 100 such facilities. He also added that nine new government hospitals will be added in Delhi and after that there will be 30,000 hospital beds in the National Capital. He said that currently there are 14,000 hospital beds in Delhi.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal concluded by saying that the production of water in Delhi is 995 MGD, which is much higher than the 870 MGD that it was when the AAP Government was formed in Delhi. “The target of the Delhi Government is to increase this to 1250 MGD by 2025. In 2015, 985 colonies had a water pipeline which has now been increased to 1671 colonies. In the last year, an additional water pipeline of 538 kilometres has been added in Delhi and the state government is now providing water connections to every household in the city. The state government is working hard to turn Delhi into a ‘city of lakes’, and in this process 20 new big lakes will be ready in Delhi very soon,” he said.