Under President’s rule, Delhi budget for 2014-15 was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on July 18, almost 8 days after General Budget was submitted before the Parliament. In one glance, it is enough to tell one that it has been prepared keeping in mind fast changing political developments in the national capital. Given this, in the Delhi budget of Rs 36766 crore, no new taxes were proposed. Also, whopping Rs 19066 crore was proposed for non-plan expenditure, meant for pension, salaries, subsidies and loans. Overall budget is marked with balancing acts undertaken by the Finance Minister keeping in perspective assembly polls to be held in a month or two.
As power and water issues have dominated the national capital’s political spectrum, Jaitley’s Delhi budget has ensured that relief is given to the poor and marginalized section on the power front. In this regard, subsidy at Rs 1.20 per unit up to 200- unit and 80 paisa per unit for the slab between 201 to 400- unit has been extended to consumers. Then 400 KV sub-station at Harsh Vihar and 220KV Gas Insulated Switchgear(GIS) sub-station at Peera Garhi. Three new 220KV GIS sub-stations at Papankalan, Tughlakabad and Rajghat will be constructed. To augment power generation, 1500 MW Gas Turbine Station at Bawana will be made fully functional. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area will be developed as a solar city. Improvement of transmission and distribution of network across Delhi.
With aim to provide drinkable waters to Delhites round the clock, the budget has provided for installations of 500 Water ATMs. This is apart from increasing tanker services. Then construction of Renuka Dam will be taken on priority basis with initial sum of Rs 50 crore. Budget has also been made available for renovation and modernization of Chandrawal water treatment plant and Wazirabad water plant. Pucca parallel channel from Munak to Haiderpur has been made functional with aim to avail 80 million gallons per day water for newly constructed water treatment plants at Dwarka, Okhla and Bawana.
A new medical college with 100 seats will be set up at Rohini. One multi-specialty hospital will be set up in South Delhi. 50 dialysis centres will be opened. As for rehabilitation of victims of sexual assault, one stop centre will be set up in each district of Delhi with the Central government’s support. Three more forensic science laboratories will be set up at Sheikh Sarai, Rohini and Sayurpur village. Regional forensic science laboratory will be made functional at Chanakya Puri. 110 new ambulances in view of increasing trauma cases will be launched.
20 new schools and two senior secondary schools exclusively for girls would be opened. A new school of planning and architecture and design will be set up in East Delhi. Construction work of National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Narela will be expedited.
All beneficiaries will be covered under Food Security Scheme. All fair price shops will be computerized and all vehicles deployed for transportation of food articles to fair price shops will be covered by GPS-RFID based vehicle tracking system. Financial support will be extended to two children of jailed parents till they attain the age of 18 years or till their parents are released which is earlier. Pension scheme expanded from 3.90 lakh to 4.30 lakh people.
Three new homes for mentally challenged persons will be set up at different locations. Seven more night shelters will be constructed. Toilet facilities to all slum dwellers, while piped water supply will be made available in 50 unauthorized colonies. In 95 unauthorized colonies, sewerage system will be laid.
Special Treatment Plant (STP) at Pappan Kalan, Nilothi, Yamuna Vihar and Delhi Gate will be commissioned. With this, the sewerage treatment capacity will be increased from 604 MGD to 684 MGD. Old Special Treatment Plant and their allied infrastructure at Kondli, Rithala and Okhla will be rehabilitated under Yamuna Action Plan-III. A 40 MGD Special Treatment Plant will be setup with technical support of Singapore for achieving tertiary quality of treated effluent.
As many as 1380 new semi, low-floor buses for DTC will be procured.An automated fare collection system through electronic ticketing machines and card readers will be introduced in DTC. This system will be subsequently be integrated with fare collection system of Delhi Metro. ISBT at Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar will be developed. Elevated corridor over Barapullah Nullah will be extended from Sarai Kale Khan to Mayur Vihar under phase-III. Regional offices of transport department will be renovated and modernized.
In a nutshell, this is neither a big-ticket nor a dam-squib budget. Nor it incorporates please-all factors of a populist budget. Yet one thing is clear and that is, development overtone is not missing from the budget. Perhaps, this is what the present political dispensation at the centre aims for.