NEW DELHI: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said clearing landfill sites, redevelopment of markets, regularisation of temporary employees and timely payment of salaries will be the top priorities of the AAP if it wins the civic body polls.
In an interview to PTI, Sisodia said resident welfare associations (RWAs) as "mini councillors" will be granted legal status.
They will work like a form of 'Mohalla Sabha' the concept of which was obstructed by BJP-ruled municipal corporations, he said.
He claimed that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is going to secure a "landslide victory" in the December 4 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, saying that the voters can see through the lies being peddled by the BJP.
The deputy chief minister asserted that the BJP is nowhere in the contest, and said the saffron party leaders are indulging in releasing videos and levelling false allegations, but this "misinformation campaign" will not impact the voters in the December 4 elections.
Talking about the AAP's action plan to clear the three landfill sites in Delhi, the AAP leader said it has been prepared after a proper study in the last five-six months.
At the current pace and technology being used by the incumbent civic body, it will take decades to clear them, he said.
In October this year, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had noted that the quantity of legacy waste at the three dumpsites was 300 lakh metric tonnes.
"We will focus on managing the solid waste right from the time it is picked up from the homes. Besides, a creative use of sanitation workers and paying them timely salaries is also a part of our roadmap to reduce the landfill sites. Experts say that solid waste is a goldmine and the government can earn a revenue from it," Sisodia said.
The deputy CM also rejected the BJP's claims that the municipal corporations were deprived of their due funds by the Delhi government and said that the civic bodies were given more money by the Kejriwal dispensation, as compared to what they were given before 2015.
"The BJP leaders had said that they would get funds from the Centre. Why didn't they do it? The reality is that enough funds were given to the BJP-ruled corporations but with the increase in funds, the level of corruption also increased," he alleged.
Reiterating Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's promise of empowering RWAs, he said that the resident welfare bodies will be given legal status of "mini councillors".
Sisodia said that in 2015, the AAP government had done a pilot of 'Mohalla Sabha', but it was stuck up with the MCD.
The "empowerment" of RWAs and giving them the status of "mini councillors" will take forward the concept of 'Mohalla Sabha', he revealed.
On Tuesday, Kejriwal announced if the AAP wins MCD polls, RWAs will be "empowered" and granted status of "mini councillors".
He had also said the idea behind this vision is to "make people the owners of Delhi".
Listing out the top priorities of the AAP on Thursday, Sisodia said after coming to power in the MCD, the party will deploy technology and experts to find solutions to the mountain of garbage at three sites, redevelopment of markets, regularisation of temporary employees and timely payment of salaries.
He also alleged that the BJP did not grant licences to "illegal markets" in 70 municipal wards to operate, but the AAP will legalise all such markets after winning the elections.
"Sanitation workers form the core of the waste management. Timely payment of salaries and redressal of their grievances are a key part of solving the garbage menace. We will ensure that employees get their salaries on the first day of every month after coming to power in the MCD. We will work on a war footing to regularise contractual employees," he added.
Asserting that BJP is nowhere in the contest, Sisodia claimed that there is "restlessness" in the saffron party after indications of defeat driven by their internal surveys.
"It is also evident as the BJP has deployed top Union ministers and chief ministers of the party-ruled states for campaigning. Those leaders can themselves see how much garbage is lying on the roads. When the BJP leaders and Union ministers walk on roads and streets during campaigning, people caution them to be watchful so as not to soil themselves in the garbage," he claimed.
When asked that the BJP has been relentlessly attacking the AAP over allegations of corruption and selling of party tickets, Sisodia said, "This misinformation campaign is not going to impact the voters. People themselves are wondering why instead of talking about their work in the MCD in 15 years, they are indulging in releasing videos and levelling false allegations."
Polling for the 250 wards of the MCD will be held on December 4.
Results will be announced after counting of votes on December 7.
In the last municipal polls, the AAP was trounced by the BJP.
The Kejriwal-led party had managed to grab just 48 seats out of 270 while the BJP had secured victory in 181 seats.