AAP govt to observe first anniversary of its third term on Tuesday

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) The AAP government, which took the reins of Delhi at the onset of COVID-19 pandemic last year, will observe the first anniversary of its third term in power on Tuesday.

Party convener Arvind Kejriwal took oath of chief minister for the third term on February 16, days before massive communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi.

Sources in the Delhi government, however, said the first anniversary will be a 'low key affair' with no event planned to mark the occasion due to COVID-19 pandemic.

After taking the reins of the national capital, the new government in Delhi had its task cut out as it dealt first with the riots that claimed over 50 lives and led to extensive damage to property, and then COVID-19 pandemic.

As matters worsened with the Centre declaring a nationwide lockdown in the third week of March last year and galloping coronavirus infections as well as rising number deaths in coming months, the Kejriwal government came out with 'Delhi Model' comprising home isolation, plasma therapy and plasma banks to tackle the burgeoning pandemic situation.

The Delhi government also launched a massive relief operation, providing food and dry ration amid an exodus of migrant workers from the city, and then providing financial assistance to vulnerable sections like construction workers and auto drivers.

A survey conducted by community social media platform LocalCircles claimed that 56 per cent of Delhi residents approve the one year performance of AAP government 2.0, mainly for 'overcoming challenges' induced by COVID-19.

It further claimed that 52 per cent residents of Delhi approved of the Kejriwal government's lockdown and 'unlock' management, COVID-19 testing and reporting, and arrangement of hospital beds for coronavirus patients.

From a high of 8,600 infections and 131 deaths on single days during third wave of the pandemic in November, the situation improved in the coming months.

Delhi government's Health bulletin reported 141 fresh COVID-19 cases and two deaths due to the virus on Monday.

The government was also the first in the country to announce financial assistance of Rs one crore to the dependants of its employees who succumbed on duty due to COVID-19.

Besides COVID-19 pandemic management, the government also came out with ambitious policies to make Delhi a hub of service and hi-tech sectors and a leader in adoption of electric vehicles.

In November last year, Kejriwal announced that only service and hi-tech industries will be allowed in new industrial parks and the manufacturing units in existing ones will be encouraged to make the switch. The government has also started work on an industrial park to be set up at Ranikhera.

Even as the city was in the grip of the pandemic, Kejriwal government launched the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy in August 2020, aiming to make the national capital a global leader in adoption of pollution-free vehicles.

In the field of public transport, the government issued work orders in December 2020, paving way for procurement of 1,000 buses by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) after a gap of nearly 10 years.

The government also started work on its other schemes including redesigning of city roads and doorstep delivery of ration.

Despite sharp drop in revenue due to the pandemic, the government continued its flagship scheme of free power and water supply, benefitting 38.23 lakh consumers with zero electricity bills and 13.66 lakh with zero water bills, as per latest official figures.

However, there were some areas including water supply, air pollution, 'Jahan Jhuggi Whan Makan' and procurement of electric buses where the government faced flack from its political adversaries BJP and the Congress.

The LocalCircles survey based on over 54,000 responses of Delhiites, claimed 37 per cent respondents found 'some improvement' in the water supply situation and 35 per cent approved Delhi Government's efforts to improve air quality in the last one year, said Sachin Taparia, founder and chairman of LocalCircles. PTI VIT TDS TDS