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Arvind asks power, finance ministers to get cracking

Arvind asks power, finance ministers to get cracking
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Holding its first meeting, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Cabinet directed the finance and the power departments of Delhi government to bring proposals in this regard.

According to a Delhi government release, “Kejriwal directed the finance and power departments to immediately send their proposals for implementation of the election promises to slash the electricity tariffs by 50 per cent till the audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the private power companies (Discoms) is completed and also the provision of lifeline water (upto 20,000 litres for every household per month).”

Incidentally the move comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took potshots over Kejriwal’s power pledge. Speaking at a conference on renewable energy Modi said: “During every election, political parties promise free power...People need to think about these promises.”

Delhi has a power demand of about 5,000 MW and is largely dependent on other states to meet its requirements. Reacting to Modi’s dig at AAP, a senior party leader and AAP had urged the PM to help the state government to make power affordable.

The Cabinet also decided to convene the first session of the newly elected Delhi Assembly on February 23-24 to swear-in the new MLAs and elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

CM puts brakes on demolition drive
At its first meeting held on Monday, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet has decided to put on hold demolition in unauthorised colonies and JJ Clusters as the government plans to review the policy in these matters. According to a Delhi government release, the government wishes to “take a holistic view on the existing policy of carrying out demolitions of residential houses, jhuggis etc in Delhi by various agencies. The government has issued directions to various agencies – New Delhi Municipal Council, North, East and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, Delhi Jal Board, environment and forests, revenue department, etc., not to carry out any demolition till this review is completed.”

However, the statement has said that in case any demolition has already been planned or is in the pipeline, the agency concerned shall seek prior approval of the urban development minister. “This order shall not apply to action taken in pursuance of courts orders,” said the statement.
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