‘Kejriwal’s contribution to G20 summit is nil’, says NDMC vice-chairperson
The NDMC has been given a key responsibility for civic-related developmental work
India is leading the presidency of G20 this year and the main event on September 9-10, to be attended by world leaders, will be held at the recently redeveloped Pragati Maidan in the national capital. The NDMC has been given a key responsibility for civic-related developmental work.
As the date approaches, the Centre-led NDMC and AAP-led Delhi government have been engaged in a war of words over the credit for the work. The NDMC vice-chairperson Satish Upadhyay speaks about the preparations, politics and other issues in an interview with Ashish Srivastava. Excerpts:
AAP and Centre accuse each other of taking undue credit for development work. Your take?
Firstly, this is not a time for politics. But since the AAP govt is racing to take credit for the works done by the Centre, I would like to say that in the last 1.5 years, Arvind Kejriwal, who is the Chief Minister of Delhi and legislator from the New Delhi district, has not attended even a single meeting of over 100 meetings held regarding G20 work. He remained absent from dozens of programmes including the G-20 food, tulip and music festivals among others that we conducted in the run-up to the international summit. He even did not contribute a single money from his MLA fund. With zero contribution, how can he think of taking the credit? The AAP has formulated a standard response to counter all allegations that other governments don’t let them work, whereas the fact is, the AAP and its supremo are incompetent.
What new additions, in terms of infrastructure and aesthetics the New Delhi area, have been included and how much did it cost?
The main event venue, G-20 secretariat and hotels where the heads of the nations will stay fall in our jurisprudence. We have spruced up 44 roads with greenery, street-scaping and remodelling of roads. The horticulture department did a commendable job in planting flowers of rare species of flowers. Roundabouts have been redeveloped with special cutting and design. Sculptures have been installed which have been acquired from different sources including Shahjahanpur in Rajasthan which is popular for marbles. Over a dozen fountains have been installed at key locations including the PM’s residence. Besides, the whole of Connaught Place was revamped. All this cost us around Rs 60 crore.
A lot of focus has been given to smart monitoring of the facilities. How is the NDMC implementing it?
Our control and command centre has 65 smartpoles from where we monitor all key aspects. All of them are equipped with 180-degree cameras, enabled with a wi-fi system, and temperature and air pollution monitoring. Besides, we have installed 400 cameras in our areas for effective management of vehicular traffic. We receive details of each road and the associated traffic at any given point in time.
The traders of Connaught Place are unhappy with the closure of the market during the three-day gala event. They were hoping to welcome the foreign delegates with the local flavour of the city. Your comments?
Is shopping more important than the international event where the premiers of more than 20 nations will visit? Who will take the responsibility if something happens? Are the shopkeepers going to scan every customer? Will they even guarantee the conduct of their staff? It’s a lifetime event, not an annual saga, so priority should be set accordingly. We need to cooperate with the security agencies for a safe and successful event.