It is extremely shocking that barely a few days ahead of the Delhi budget, the Chief Secretary on Sunday refused to accept important files containing comments of the Chief Minister in preparation of the annual budget speech.
The files were related to fixing accountability in setting up of Mohalla and Poly clinics, the key health priority sectors of the Delhi government.
This year the Delhi government will introduce an innovative concept in budget making. For most of the big projects, specific milestones and timelines will be presented before the Assembly to make the Delhi government more accountable to the Legislative Assembly.
For example – beginning from the date of the cabinet note till the completion of execution of the project – the entire project will be broken into specific milestones and timelines. All these details will be placed before the Assembly.
In case of Mohalla clinics, the Chief Minister desired that such specific timelines including construction to operationalisation – recruitment of doctors and the date of starting the clinic be clearly mentioned in the file, and the Chief Secretary should personally ensure this be implemented.
However, in the morning when the files were sent, it was informed by Chief Secretary’s residence that today being Sunday, these files be sent during office hours on Monday in the Chief Secretary’s office.
The first file was related to the setting-up of Mohalla Clinics and contained comments of the Chief Minister on why the Health Department despite having received No Objection Certificates from various departments for 530 sites in addition to 296 sites in schools (nearly 830 new Mohalla Clinic sites), has only been to provide an estimated timeline for construction of 243 new Mohalla Clinics so far. None of the other details related to setting-up of these clinics have been mentioned so far.
The Chief Minister desired on the file that the Chief Secretary should ensure how specific timelines will be adhered to, beginning from the deadline for completion of construction to recruitment of doctors and final operationalisation of these Mohalla Clinics, since the file sent to the Chief Minister did not contain any of the specific deadlines despite clear instructions from the Health Minister also.
The second file contained only a tentative timeline of 12 months for the operationalisation of 47 Polyclinics in the first phase and another 47 in the second phase.
The Chief Minister desired that the information sought about specific timelines was sought from the Chief Secretary and should be provided by him.
The Chief Minister expressed his displeasure at the sketchy information provided in the files on such important projects.