My Vision for Delhi
Delhi, the national capital is a mini-India – home to people from all parts of the country and the mirror to the outside world. Any statesman’s vision would be to make Delhi a truly international city, which throws up a huge challenge, with myriad accumulated problems as a result of lack of foresight and planning.
All public services will be digitised and made online, so that dependence on manual interface with public utility services will be brought down and ultimately, completely done away with. This will also help possible avenues for corrupt practices in those facilities.
Legislators would be made “Guardians” of their respective constituencies with responsibility to hold public hearings with the participation of officials of various departments periodically to address public grievances.
The state would be divided into six regions with one minister designated as “Guardian Minister”. He/she will also hold public hearings once in three months to redress any residual issues, unresolved at the assembly constituency level.
Law and Order
Though the law and order in the national capital is the direct responsibility of the Central Government, the Delhi Government can do a complementary and supplementary role to ensure safety and security of the citizens.
All the black spots in the city will be surveyed and proper lighting system installed. All major intersections, highways, shopping and tourist-spots will be connected with high-tech cameras to keep an eye on all such spots.
Delhi being the national capital, it is imperative to keep it clean like any world-class city. It needs a graded response system to control environmental degradation and preserve air quality. Mechanised cleaning of public places will be introduced, to reduce air pollution from manual cleaning.
Introduce a paradigm shift in waste management. Instead of dumping it in landfills, which result in short-term air pollution and long-term soil pollution, the city’s waste will be managed scientifically to create ‘Waste to Wealth’ through public-private participation.
Complete ban on plastic carry bags to be enforced, encouraging bio-degradable carry bags, which can be recycled to add value.
Conversion of conventional bulbs to LED bulbs all over Delhi to cut down carbon emissions, while generating revenue for the civic agencies.
While big hospitals will continue to be tertiary care centres, one Primary Health Centre will be opened in each villages of Delhi and in an area of five square kilometres, a pathological laboratory will be set up for primary clinical tests. Special camps will be organised, with the help of insurance companies to enlist all eligible households to get insured under various schemes of the Central Government. Those outside the government-sponsored insurance ring, would be encouraged to enrol for appropriate health insurance schemes, so that the entire population of Delhi is brought under insurance cover.
Restructuring primary school curriculum to include values for life, dignity and patriotism. Besides, they would also be encouraged to make ‘Green Good Deeds’ part of their daily routine.
Converting all government schools to smart schools and optimum utilisation of infrastructure to increase the intake of students. School curriculum would also be changed to orient it with the latest requirements of industry/service sector. Teachers would be trained in the latest teaching tools. Experts from the respective fields would be inducted laterally for train students job-oriented courses.
All villages – rural and urban will be linked with broadband connectivity, with regulated free access. Common Service Centres will be set up in all villages to provide digital services at low cost.
In a phased manner, Delhi will be completely powered by solar energy. Initially, public places will be provided with solar lightings, followed by government buildings. Solar energy generation should be factored in building plans – commercial and residential. Gradually, all private and public buildings will be mandated to have its own solar energy generation system.
Vehicles driven by rooftop solar grid will be incentivised and given free charging stations at key public spots and parking complexes.
A multi-modal transit development would be implemented, wherein public transport is available at every congestion points. Combined with it, a Transit Oriented Development (a transport hub into mixed use and highly active space which favours pedestrians) and hierarchical transport system in place to encourage more non-motorised transport which would reduce pollution.
Though India has pledged to switch over to electric vehicles by 2030, it would be advanced in Delhi in a phased manner.
Reduction of heavy transport in Delhi
Will take up with the Central Government to expeditiously complete the Western Expressway so that the traffic between states on either side of the national capital do not have to pass through Delhi. This will also ease traffic congestion and reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi.
Parking is a major problem in Delhi, with the burgeoning vehicular population. Multi-level parking will be constructed at all major shopping/office complexes, with private participation using innovative space management technology. Parking on non-designated areas will be completely banned. Parking facilities should be incorporated in building plans for big residential plots and complexes.
A pedestrian-friendly Delhi
Pedestrians should have equal facilities as for motor vehicles to move around the city, as in the case of any other world-class city. As a doctor, I understand the benefits of walking. According to WHO, insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide.
Will remove barriers for pedestrians, wherever it exists, and create pedestrian walkways on all major stretches of roads. All major shopping areas, historical sites would be made completely pedestrian-friendly.
Digitisation of traffic enforcement
Digitisation of traffic monitoring will be introduced in Delhi. System-generated penalties will be imposed on all violators, through monitoring of all highways and motorways by high-resolution cameras. This would bring down human intervention in traffic monitoring in the capital as also corruption thereto.
Tourism & Yamuna Restoration
Yamuna is part of the culture and history of Delhi. The river is one of the most polluted rivers in the country.
My vision is to develop the riverfront, on the model of restoration of Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. A campaign to restore the river needs to be launched with the participation of people and voluntary bodies.
Once completely restored, the management of the stretch of River Yamuna running through Delhi should be handed over to a specially created agency, which would be responsible for its upkeep and development of river-tourism in the national capital.
In a bid to attract domestic and international visitors, we need to organise annual festivals around historical monuments, like in other countries. Such festivals using historical buildings and monuments as a canvas for dynamic light shows, highlighting Indian architecture and cultural heritage.