NEW DELHI: Education and health recived the top billing in the Rs 69,000-crore budget presented by the Delhi government on Tuesday. After presenting a ‘Swaraj’ and a ‘Green’ budget in previous years, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia presented ‘Deshbhakti budget’.
The budget includes promises to dot the entire city with 500 ‘Tirangas’, a fresh curriculum on patriotism for students and a 75-week-long celebration to mark the 75 years of Independent India. The Delhi government also promised free Covid-19 vaccination for all in its hospitals.
The deputy chief minister proposed to allocate Rs 16,377 crore, one-fourth of the total budget, for the education sector, while the health sector got Rs 9,934 crore or 14 per cent of the total budget outlay.
According to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, to celebrate the 75th year journey of Independent India, the government plans to decorate with national flags at the cost of Rs 45 crores.
“With these 500 tricolours, on 75th year of independence, We will decorate our entire city in such a way that even if you pass through one or two kilometres in Delhi, they will find a flag waving high,” said the finance minister. Currently, a giant 200-feet-tall tricolour is hoisted at the heart of the city--Connaught Place. Recently, Delhi government hoisted a tricolor at a height of 160 feet high at Delhi’s Netaji Subhash University of Technology, Dwarka.
Another promise of the is that Delhi government is going to introduce a patriotism curriculum in the government schools. In order to reach the level of education dreamt by the freedom fighters of the country, Sisodia said that a ‘Mentorship Volunteer’ program named ‘Youth for Education’ is planned to be initiated from this year. The aim of this program will be to “prepare lakhs of successful and educated youth to help those students in reading and writing who are struggling due to lack of resources”.
AAP government has also decided that the citizens at local colony level across Delhi will be provided with meditation and yoga instructors on demand. These yoga instructors will be given special training by the Delhi government, a special budgetary allocation of Rs 25 crore has been made for this time in the Deshbhakti budget.
Budget AT A Glance
Build now to host Olympics in 2048
In order to bring the Olympics to the national capital, Delhi government plans to pay special attention to development of sports infrastructure in the next 25 years. “Our government aims to lift sports facilities and atmosphere to such a level through the new Sports University that we can bid to host the 39th Olympics in 2048,” said Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The government is looking at that edition because it will come soon after 100 years of independence. “This may seem far away, but we have to bid for it 10 years before 2048. Before that it will take 15 years to build infrastructure, to create an atmosphere where sports flourishes,” the government said in the budget.
Scheme to help de-addiction
In order to tackle substance abuse, the government has made a special budgetary allocation of Rs 7.20 crore for a new scheme called ‘Suryoday’. This successful initiative started in Sultanpuri. Based on that, more drug and substance abuse rehabilitation centers shall be established in different districts of Delhi. The government also claimed that the best sports infrastructure in the country is present in Delhi. “We have now created a Sports University to streamline sports facilities and bring the sports talents under their ambit to prepare them for world class competitions. Our goal is to prepare international medal winning champions in at least 10 fields,” said Sisodia in his speech.
No new plans, Rs 3,274 for DJB
With no announcement of new schemes related to water projects, the Delhi government has proposed a budget of Rs 3,274 crore for Delhi Jal Board projects under existing policies. Highlight of this is clean drinking water to every household. To monitor quality, nine labs are working 24 hours in treatment plants of the DJB. “Water supply to all unauthorized colonies will be ensured in a phased manner in the next two years, except for 113 colonies which have not yet received NOC from the Archaeological Survey of India or those which fall in the forest area. The network has been expanded in unauthorised colonies and 79 per cent of the population has come under this,” said Sisodia.
3600 approach to curb pollution
In the environment sector, the budget talks about “360-degree approach” in tackling air pollution. It focuses mostly on new plans in the Electric Vehicle policy. “In spite of all the efforts in the last 75 years, pollution has increased. As we are approaching a century of independence, we would like to put an end to pollution. Work is done with a 360-degree approach under the leadership of CM Kejriwal” said Manish Sisodia. Mentioning policies like mandatory use of anti-smog guns at construction sites, he informed that installation of two smog towers is in final stage. “We have been successful in not just protecting the green cover but also in continuously expanding it.”