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Delhi government tables report accusing Lieutenant Governor's Office of hindering development, stalling welfare projects

Even as the Delhi government remains mired in controversy—the latest being the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report revealing several irregularities in the Public Distribution System—the ruling dispensation on Wednesday published an outcome report accusing the Lieutenant Governor's Office of undue delays, rejections and hindering development and welfare projects.

 Delhi government tables report accusing Lieutenant Governors Office of hindering development, stalling welfare projects

File image of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Courtesy: News18

The outcome report, tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Assembly, escalated the rift between the Government of Delhi and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The report, which comes at a time when the Delhi government is facing serious charges of non-deliverance, seeks to shift blame and points to 35 proposals which were either delayed, rejected or hindered by the Lieutenant Governor's Office.

According to the report, “The Government of NCT of Delhi believes in accountability of all institutions, and has therefore presented the ‘Outcome Budget Report Card’ and the Timeline Budget in this Budget session. In continuation we are now tabling Outcomes of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor before the Delhi Assembly, to ensure that this institution remains accountable to the people of Delhi”.

The report classifies the response of the Lieutenant Governor's Office to various proposals of development laid by the Delhi government into two sections: The first gives department wise accounts of the major policy proposals or matters that have either been rejected or pending approval till date by the lieutenant governor or have been substantially delayed before giving approval.

The second section holds the Lieutenant Governor's Office responsible for not filling vacant posts in various departments and thus hindering the government's development and welfare works. The 89-page report also alleges that the lieutenant governor either delayed projects or hindered them through unnecessary suggestions, additions and rectifications.

According to the outcome report, the education department's proposal to ensure education loans for meritorious students was delayed by 402 days. “Government of NCT of Delhi set up the ‘Delhi Higher Education and Skill Development Credit Guarantee Trust’ that would be given a corpus from the government and would be the guarantor for a student loan. This would mean meritorious students from economically weaker sections would get access to loans up to Rs 10 lakh for pursuing higher education”, according to the report.

It goes on to allege, “The Hon’ble lieutenant governor was sent the proposal on 30.08.2016 and could have cleared it then itself as he had the legal authority to overcome the issues raised by the law department. Yet, he chose to send it back for re-examination, which led to an avoidable delay of 402 days in the approval of the policy”.

Similarly, the report accuses the Lieutenant Governor's Office of unreasonably delaying the proposals of 1,000 Mohalla Clinics and 500 Mohalla clinics in schools by 101 days and 146 days respectively.

“The Hon’ble lieutenant governor kept raising objections and asking for clarifications. No value was added and no improvement took place in the original proposal. Finally, he cleared exactly the same proposal after a delay of 146 days, and it was the children of the schools and the citizens of the area who suffered”, the report alleges.

Significantly, one of the 35 allegations made against the Lieutenant Governor's Office across 14 departments, is of preventing an investigation into alleged corruption in outsourcing in Lok Nayak Jayprakash Narayan Hopital and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

According to the report, in 2014, in the absence of an elected government, HLL Life Care Ltd. was allotted the job of housekeeping in the hospitals by the Lieutenant Governor's Office. But later, the contract was extended without due approval and sub-contractor violating the conditions of the contract.

“In view of above glaring facts and apparent collusive actions between the officials and service provider, the matter was recommended by Hon’ble health minister to be investigated by CBI”, the report states. “The file was recommended for CBI investigation to the Hon’ble lieutenant governor by the Hon’ble chief minister on 11.09.2017. No response has been received from the office of the Hon’ble lieutenant governor. A reminder was again sent by the Hon’ble health minister on 7.11.2017”.

The report states that as a result, a message has been sent to the bureaucracy: “That if they are close to the Hon’ble lieutenant governor and hostile to the elected government, then the Hon’ble lieutenant governor would protect them from any consequences even if they indulge in corruption or gross irregularities”.

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Updated Date: Apr 04, 2018 22:30:43 IST