Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Delivering the inaugural address at the commencement of the Budget session of the Delhi Assembly, Mr. Kapoor, said the Tenth Five Year Plan, which outlines that reforms are critical to improve governance and increase return on investment, would set the tone for this reforms agenda.
He stressed the need to introduce policy reforms for building public-private partnerships and creating an enabling environment that attracts private investment. However, the 35-minute address of the Lieutenant- Governor, which is supposed to outline the priorities and policies of the elected Government, was a lacklustre affair indicating that the Congress Government had nothing new to offer to the people of Delhi.
Mr. Kapoor said many of the laws that directly have an impact on governance of the metropolitan city were enacted nearly five decades ago when there was no popularly elected government. In the changed scenario, there was an urgent need to review the Constitutional powers of the elected government, to effectively steer matters impacting on city planning and provisions of civic services.
Referring to the transport sector, Mr. Kapoor said the first MRTS corridor would be completed before the end of this year. Work on three priority projects on the regional rail network will commence soon. These corridors included the Shahdara-Sahibabad- Ghaziabad rail link, the Dayabasti-Bijwasan-Gurgaon rail link and the Sahibabad-Tilak Bridge-Minto bridge rail link.
A high-power committee had been set up to look at all alternatives which are cost effective and capable of being integrated with the MRTS and the existing road transport system. He said something with regard to reform and restructuring DTC was in the offing and indicated the possibility of engineering public-private partnerships for efficient delivery of transport services. On the cyber city dream of the Chief Minister, the Lieutenant-Governor once again repeated the plans of the State Government to set up a state-of-the-art hi-tech city for Information Technology with best communication links, uninterrupted power supply and other advanced technical facilities. He said a ''Biotechnology Park'' was also being set up in collaboration with Delhi University which would help in the upgradation of technology of existing industry and development of hi-tech and non-polluting industries.
He said the campus of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University would be built at Dwarka and Surajmal Vihar. A new engineering college would be opened at Geeta Colony, the constituency of the Health Minister, A.K. Walia. He said a new scheme for low cost housing was being planned and funds would be accessed from the Valmiki Ambedkar Malin Basti Awas Yojna scheme to augment resources.
The Lieutenant-Governor admitted to some hiccups in the power sector reforms. Extending the April deadline set by Delhi Government, to privatise DVB, Mr. Kapoor indicated that this could possibly extend to June end. Dwelling on the happenings in Gujarat, Mr. Kapoor expressed deep anguish over the man-made disaster in Gujarat and condemned the violence that snatched away so many innocent lives, causing so much agony and suffering.
Later, the Assembly Speaker, Chaudhary Prem Singh, along with the Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, and the Leader of the Opposition, condoled the tragic death of former Lok Sabha Speaker, G.M.C. Balyogi, and paid glowing tributes to him. Chaudhary Prem Singh recalled his close association and friendship with Balyogi and said his death was a great loss to the nation and to him personally.
The House also paid rich tributes to the former member and former Chairman, Metropolitan Council, Jag Parvesh Chandra, former Executive Councillor, Vishamber Dutt and freedom fighter, T.N.Kundra. The Speaker also announced that Vidhan Sabha will not sit on March 27 as all the MLAs would be busy with counting of votes for the MCD polls. He said the decision to this effect had been taken after consultations with the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
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