PM inaugurates 3024 flats, says govt working to make Delhi grand with facilities expected of capital
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 3,024 flats in Delhi's Kalkaji area for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and asserted that while the poor's welfare was ignored for decades, they are at the centre of the policies of his "garibon ki sarkar".
Modi cited the central government's measures to boost the capital's development and took a veiled swipe at the AAP dispensation, accused by the BJP of spending huge money on publicity while doing little on the ground, wondering how much money the Centre should have spent on advertising its work for Delhi.
He said his government's goal is to make Delhi a grand city equipped with all the facilities as expected of the capital of the country.
In his address after the inauguration and handing over keys of the new flats to some of the owners from the Economically Weaker Sections who earlier lived in slums, he said poverty was long considered an issue for the poor to deal with but they are now at the centre of his government's policies as his is a "garibon ki sarkar" (poor people's government).
हमारे गरीब भाई-बहन अपने नए फ्लैट में जीवन की नई शुरुआत करने जा रहे हैं, तो मैं उनसे कुछ आग्रह भी करना चाहता हूं… pic.twitter.com/VH5B6vXD0K— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 2, 2022
He cited the boost to the Metro service, the length of which has increased to nearly 400 km from 190 km in the national capital region since his government came to power. He also mentioned the work on highways around the capital city and other infrastructure measures besides pro-poor decisions.
Addressing the beneficiaries of the new flats, Modi asked, "You tell me how much money I should have spent on advertisement for all the things I have listed before you. How many newspaper pages should have been filled (with ads), with my pictures?"
Though the prime minister did not refer to the Aam Aadmi Party, which runs the city government, the BJP has often slammed it for its allegedly massive expenditure on publicity.
The Centre has also helped the lower and middle classes to realise their dreams of having a house by giving subsidy on their housing loan interests. Over Rs 700 crore has been spent on it, he added.
The move for providing permanent flats to the slum dwellers in Delhi comes ahead of civic body polls which are likely to be held by the year end. The BJP has been ruling municipal corporations since 2007.
He informed that more than 3,000 homes have already been prepared in the first phase of Kalkaji Extension alone. Very soon, other families living in the area will get the opportunity to enter their new homes.
According to the government, 3,024 flats have been constructed at the cost of about Rs 345 crore.
Remarking on the development that is witnessed and the dreams that are realised in big cities like Delhi, the prime minister said the foundation of such developments and dreams is made up of the hard work and efforts of the poor.
At the event where he handed over the key to flats owners, he pointed out that for decades, the system of governance in the country was plagued with the mentality that poverty is a poor people's issue, but the government of today belongs to the poor.
Delhi LG Vinai Kumar Saxena and Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri were among those who attended the event.
Listing the works done by the Centre in the national capital, Modi said his government is ensuring 'Ease of Living' for the poor in Delhi through 'One Nation, One Ration Card'.
This proved hugely beneficial for poor segments during the pandemic, he said, adding that lakhs of eligible vulnerable people are receiving free ration from the central government for the last two years.
Speaking on the topic of unauthorised colonies in Delhi, he acknowledged the constant worry of the people about the status of their houses.
"The central government has also done the work of reducing this concern of the people of Delhi. Work is going on to regularise the houses built in unauthorised colonies of Delhi through the PM-UDAY scheme," he said.
Emphasising the development in Delhi-NCR, Modi informed about the expansion of Metro network from 190 km to 400 km after 2014.
He further noted that in the last eight years, 135 new Metro stations have been added to the network which ended up saving time and money.
The prime minister also informed that the Government of India with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore is widening roads to provide relief to Delhi from traffic congestion.
He gave examples of Dwarka Expressway, Urban Extension Road, Akshardham to Baghpat six-lane Access Control Highway and elevated corridor in the form of Gurugram-Sohna Road.
The prime minister said that services like Rapid Rail for Delhi-NCR are going to begin in the near future. He noted the grand construction of the New Delhi Railway Station that is going to take place and expressed delight at the construction of Bharat Vandana Park on 80 hectares of land in Dwarka which is moving towards completion in the next few months.
"I am told that over 700 big parks in Delhi are maintained by the DDA. Various parks are being developed by DDA on the 22 km stretch between Wazirabad barrage to Okhla barrage," he said.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has undertaken three such projects at Kalkaji Extension, Jailorwala Bagh and Kathputli Colony.
Under the Kalkaji Extension Project, in-situ slum rehabilitation of three slum clusters namely Bhoomiheen camp, Navjeevan camp and Jawahar camp located at Kalkaji is being taken up in a phased manner.
Under Phase I, 3,024 EWS flats at the nearby vacant commercial centre site have been constructed.
The Jhuggi Jhopri site at Bhoomiheen Camp will be vacated by rehabilitating eligible households of Bhoomiheen camp to the newly constructed EWS flats. Post vacation of Bhoomiheen Campsite, this vacated site will be utilised for rehabilitation of Navjeevan Camp and Jawahar Camp in Phase II, according to the government.