New Delhi, Dec 20: Putting in place a robust public transport system, supplying piped water to each household and ramping up health and school infrastructure will be the AAP government's top focus in the new year as it tries to shrug off disappointment of 2016 that saw its bitter confrontation with the Centre severely hitting the city's governance.
As the AAP dispensation completes two years in February amid criticism that it failed to deliver on poll promises, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the government was working on its futuristic agenda and the focus will be on governance that touches lives of the masses and who have large stakes in the system.
The acrimonious relations between AAP government and Centre peaked when, the CBI, dealing a major blow to the Kejriwal dispensation, arrested Principal Secretary to the chief minister, Rajendra Kumar, along with four other persons in a corruption case in July.
The arrests triggered a political firestorm with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal training guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on virtually every issue, deepening the rift between the two sides whose impact was quite visible on the governance structure. Initiatives such as mohalla clinics that have attracted global accolades and school education reforms will see further progress in 2017, said Sisodia with a rider that in a few cases, "pending files" will have to be cleared by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
With Delhi getting the dubious distinction of one of the world's most polluted cities, Sisodia, in an interview to PTI, also said strengthening public transport to cut number of private vehicles on the streets will be another priority for the government. The pace of work by the government got affected when Jung in August set up a panel to examine over 400 files pertaining to Delhi government's decisions notwithstanding Kejriwal's strong objection.
The panel headed by former CAG V K Shunglu submitted its report last month where it pointed out many discrepancies by AAP government. The committee was set up days after Delhi High Court had stamped the primacy of the LG saying he is "administrative head" of the city. Terming the Delhi High Court verdict as "historic", Jung had then said, "When we get elected, it doesn't mean we are rulers and instead we will have to work and confine ourselves to our roles and jobs which are in the framework of the Constitution".
AAP government had challenged the HC's order in the Supreme Court and it hopes that the apex court's judgement will be in its favour. Looking back at the year gone by, Sisodia said government has prioritised a number of areas which include supplying piped water to all 1,639 unauthorised colonies.
"We have set a target of providing piped drinking water to every household including in slums and unauthorised colonies in 2017." Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio as well, is driving the reforms in schools, marked by initiatives aimed at sprucing up infrastructure, improving learning standards and elevating the level of pedagogy by getting teachers trained in world class institutes in India and abroad.