The AAP government will launch doorstep delivery of the ration scheme by March and provide health cards to everyone in the city by the year-end, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday.
Speaking at a Republic Day function organised by the city government, he noted that Delhi faced an “extreme level” of coronavirus pandemic, but its health system did not collapse due to reforms in recent years and better management.
“I am glad that by March this year, our dream initiative of doorstep delivery of ration will be launched. Neatly packed wheat or its flour and rice will be delivered to your homes. You will not have to go to shops and stand in queues. I think this will be a revolutionary step in changing the entire ration system,” Mr Kejriwal said.
Commending the role of hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff during the pandemic, he announced providing health cards to Dehiites by year-end.
“We are going to issue health cards for the people of Delhi this year. It will have all medical records of a person, and online or telephonic appointment with doctors will end waiting in queues,” he said.
The chief minister said the Health Information Management System (HIMS) will be completed this year with the integration of government hospitals first. Later, private hospitals will be added to it, he said.
Kejriwal noted that although Delhi faced an extreme stage of COVID-19 when the number of infected persons rose to 8,500 on November 11 last year, the health system of the city did not collapse like in many developed countries.
“In many developed countries and cities like New York, the health infrastructure collapsed, but in Delhi measures like home isolation prevented such a situation. Over 3.12 lakh people recovered under home isolation that was started first in Delhi,” he said.
Delhi was also the first in the world to open a plasma bank. So far, 4,929 people have received plasma therapy in the national capital, he said.
The AAP supremo said the Republic Day celebrations will be held at Chhatrasal stadium, adding that children would have been a part of the festivities if there was no pandemic situation.
The function on the eve of Republic Day was celebrated at Delhi Secretariat amid a limited gathering on Monday.
“Now that COVID-19 vaccination has started, I hope we will be relieved of the pandemic and get back to our normal lives,” he said.
Mr Kejriwal also underlined that despite drying up of tax revenue due to the pandemic, his government managed to pay salaries to its employees and continue its flagship schemes, including free power and electricity supply.
In the last billing cycle, 38 lakh households got zero power bills, while 14 lakh domestic consumers received zero amount bills for water supply, he said.
“There used to be 7-8 hour long power cuts around 2014. But, now people are getting 24×7 free electricity supply which is no less than ‘eighth wonder of the world”. There are frequent power cuts and huge electricity bills in many states generating electricity,” he claimed.
The CM also noted that the Delhi Jal Board is working on a plan to ensure round-the-clock supply of clean water to each household.
“The dream of a clean Yamuna will also be realised soon and all the projects are running on schedule,” he said.
During the pandemic, the Delhi government provided dry ration to one crore people every month as well as cooked food to 10 lakh people every day.
Also, the government gave financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to 1.56 lakh auto and taxi drivers, and Rs 10,000 to around 44,000 construction workers, which no other state did, he asserted.
The Delhi chief minister further added that families of nine “corona warriors” who succumbed to the infection were provided financial assistance of Rs one crore each.
“This pandemic poses a lot of questions like the implications of the infection, its seriousness, and the consequences it would have on our families. Our corona warriors also had the same concerns, but they put their lives at stake to serve the people,” he said.
He said the Delhi government under its scheme of honorary compensation of Rs one crore also helped families of 19 personnel of police, Army and fire service who died on duty.
The Delhi government is also working on providing flats to people living in slums. Some of the slum residents have shown resistance to shift to flats, but it is important for the future of their families and children, he added.
Mr Kejriwal hoisted the national flag during the function and felicitated Delhi prison staff who received President’s Correctional Service medals.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, ministers and top officers of the Delhi government were also present on the occasion.