'Hope to have same working relations with Centre as Delhi govt has with Nitin Gadkari,' says Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that Union minister Nitin Gadkari has showered more love on the Delhi government than maybe on his own partymen, and hoped the AAP dispensation would have the same working relations with the Centre that it shared with the BJP leader. Speaking at an event where nine projects were launched for the cleaning of Yamuna river, Kejriwal said it was "an important step for the federal structure of the country".

 Hope to have same working relations with Centre as Delhi govt has with Nitin Gadkari, says Arvind Kejriwal

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Getty images

A few years back Gadkari had slapped a defamation case against Kejriwal who in 2018 apologised to him. The AAP government in Delhi and the Centre have perennially been at loggerheads over a range of issues and have had acrimonious exchanges in the past. "Nitin Gadkari ji has never made us feel that he belongs to a rival party. I don't know about others, but the way he has showered love on us, I don't think the BJP people have got that much love," Kejriwal said.

Besides Gadkari, who is the water resources minister, the event was attended by environment minister and BJP MP from Chandni Chowk Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State for Water Resources Satyapal Singh and Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia. BJP MPs from Delhi Udit Raj, Parvesh Verma, Ramesh Bidhuri and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Legislative Assembly Vijender Gupta were also present on the occasion. Kejriwal said politics should only be restricted to polls and once a party emerges victorious, the focus of the state government and the Centre should on work.

He said to combat air pollution, it was important to take steps jointly by his government and the Centre. "The spirit in which we have gathered here together, the spirit in which we have worked with Gadkari sahab, I hope we get to work with the Centre in the same spirit.  "The Delhi government wants to work with other departments of the Centre and I hope we will get the opportunity to work with the same positive spirit," the chief minister said.

On the cleaning of Yamuna, he said the river was the city's lifeline and just a 22 km stretch between Wazirabad and Okhla adds to maximum pollution to the water body. The nine projects for which foundation was laid today include eight sewerage infrastructure projects under Yamuna Action Plan-III. The sewerage projects are being taken up in four packages of Kondli (K1, K2, K3, K4), three packages of Rithala (R1a, R1b, R2) and Okhla zone (O). Of these, seven of the projects are in various states of implementation and the project at Okhla zone is under a tendering process. In addition, the foundation was also laid for one project of nine decentralised STPs (total 2.25 crore litres per day) and water bodies rejuvenation at Chattarpur at a cost of Rs 65.24 crore. These projects are being implemented by the Delhi Jal Board in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Assistance (JICA).

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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 22:21:19 IST