CM unfurls flag, unveils vision of 'slum-free Delhi'

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (UNI) Unveiling her vision for a ''slum-free Delhi'', Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said the state government would construct four lakh houses for the economically deprived sections and upgrade the healthcare, transport and education facilities in the capital.

Addressing the state-level Republic Day function at the Chhatrasal Stadium here, Ms Dikshit sought the cooperation of the people for making Delhi ''a world-class city.'' ''It is a matter of pride that Delhi is hosting the Commonwealth Games 2010. This has provided an opportunity to make the capital a more clean and green city,'' she said.

MS Dikshit informed that as part of the government's plan to provide a better public transport system, a global tender had been floated for new buses. ''It is expected that around 2000 new buses will ply on Delhi roads within the next six months...71 new Metro feeder routes have been finalised and will become operational soon.'' The Chief Minister said the government's 'Laadli' scheme would go a long way in tackling the problem of female foeticide.

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also been constituted to ensure education and proper child care for neglected children, she added.

Ms Dikshit said her government had made all efforts to give a boost to the education sector in the state.

''There has been a substantial increase in the pass percentage in government schools. Girls are provided free education, books and uniform in government schools. Two new engineering colleges have also been opened in rural Delhi.'' Reiterating her government's commitment to providing better healthcare facilities to the people, she said new super specialty hospitals had been commissioned. ''Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, Tahirpur, Institute of Biliary and Liver Science will provide state-of-the-art healthcare facilities.'' In order to provide health services at the doorstep of the people, 131 new dispensaries would be opened in the capital, she said.

Ms Dikshit said efforts were being made to make essential commodities available to the poor and neglected people under the Public Distribution System. ''To ensure full quantity of ration to the poor people, families whose annual income is more than Rs one lakh will be excluded from PDS ration.'' She also expressed pleasure that Delhi had been termed as one of the greenest Capital in the world.

''It is our endeavour to make it more green, beautiful and modern,'' she said while complimenting the people for their contribution in enhancing the green cover from 26 sq.km to 336 sq. km during the last eight years.

The Chief Minister unfurled the national flag and inspected the parade. Contingents of the Delhi Police, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Delhi Fire Services, NCC and school children participated in the parade.

She presented an amount of Rs 45,000, a medal and a citation to Nagendra, a class XII student of Sarojini Nagar School for bravery.

Education Minister Arvinder Singh, Industry Minister Mangat Ram Singh, MLAs and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

UNI RR MS GC1727

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