Delhi government’s new road repair initiative sparks ‘credit’ war between AAP and LG. here’s why

A new road repair initiative undertaken by the Delhi government has created a fight with Delhi’s lieutenant governor over who gets the credit. Just as the Delhi government has announced its intention to implement a weekly action plan under which the city’s roads will be regularly repaired, maintained and cleaned by the Public Works Department (PWD) and civic bodies, it brought to the surface the simmering fight between Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and the AAP dispensation, this time over who should get the credit.

When announcing the action plan, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said every Saturday that each agency will ensure that one road in each of its areas is repaired and spotlessly clean. This campaign announcement was followed by a statement from the Lieutenant Governor’s office that it hopes an order to repair, maintain and clean up “one road per area/division each week” released on Thursday on his instructions will bring much-needed improvements and long-awaited relief to Delhi residents and commuters.

“It is strange that LG is fighting for appropriations on matters that are directly under the Delhi government, but has failed miserably to improve the law and order situation, to improve the cleanliness of Delhi or to control corruption in the MCD” , according PTI report.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s Chief Minister tweeted, “Delhi Government’s Weekly Action Plan to make the city’s roads excellent. Every Saturday, every agency (PWD, MCD) will strive to make every road under his excellent jurisdiction.” The statement from LG’s office said the Chief Secretary’s order for road maintenance campaign came following LG’s meeting with relevant officials earlier this week. “LG also applauded the seamless coordination put in place between the various road-owning agencies in keeping the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister on board,” the statement read.

In line with the statement, the repair and maintenance campaign will address potholes, damaged sidewalks and center shoulder, green roofing, paintwork, lampposts, roadside reflectors as well as maintenance of utilities such as toilets and water dispensers. In addition, the regular and continuous maintenance and cleanliness of these roads through the removal of garbage, C&D (construction and demolition) waste and sewer silt should be done by involving the market welfare associations ( MWA) and RWAs. The exercise action plan will be submitted to LG by July 12 and will be reviewed at regular intervals, he said.

Government sources, however, said the issue of road repairs was discussed between the Chief Secretary and PWD Minister Manish Sisodia two days ago. “It seems cheap for LG to fight for credit like this,” a source said.

According to an official notification, the roads in the city require the attention of relevant agencies such as the Public Works Department (PWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and New Delhi City Council (NDMC). As per the notification issued by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, the work progress will be uploaded to a portal by the concerned organization. Once the roads are repaired, maintained or improvised, the relevant organization should ensure their regular cleaning and maintenance, he said.

(With PTI entries)

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