New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party government today conducted public meetings in six constituencies in the second phase of its participatory budgeting exercise in Delhi. People's Budget (Janata ka Budget) initiative was launched on April 19 by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with much fanfare from Patparganj constituency to seek views of voters on the budget.
Public meetings were held today at various locations of Dwarka, Chattarpur, Karawal Nagar, Okhala, Bawana and Patparganj.
According to the officials, about 200-300 people turned up at each public meeting and most of them raised local civic and security issues. Meetings were chaired by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) level officers and MLAs of the constituency along with District Magistrate were inspecting the budget meeting.
Senior officials of respective department of Delhi government were present at the meetings to listen to public grievances.
“Public budget is democracy in true sense as voters have never felt so empowered before. Sewer, road repair, maintenance of park and CCTV cameras were the main issues raised by the voters.
“Going to public for budget has also helped government to understand local needs which cannot be addressed from secretariat. Locals informed officials that a pipe should be fixed which can solve water problem. They also spoke about how some areas are in extremely bad shape due to tussle between government agencies,” said Adarsh Shastri, MLA from Dwarka area.
The exerciuse with continue tomorrow and subsequent meetings will be held on weekends.
According to government officials, an estimate is being made on the basis of voting for top issues of concern and the final budget is expected to be presented in Delhi Assembly in the first week of June.
During the public meetings, many people got on-the-spot approval of old age pension.
In some areas people gave priority to security more than civic issues. People have voted maximum for CCTV cameras and gate for security in residential areas in Karwal Nagar, officials said.
Demand for sewage facilities, clean water and library were common in all the meetings.
“During the meeting, I made a proposal to allot Rs 5 lakh for maintenance of cremation ground, ambulance in each ward and water booster pump to address water supply issue and people voted in large numbers for it,” Kapil Mishra, MLA from Karawal Nagar said.
While for people in Okhala constituency water supply was the top priority, they also demanded that liquor shops be closed down.
There were also requests for solving sewer and electricity issues.
“We conducted eight meeting in Okhala area, which witnessed a good turnout of 500-600 people in each meeting. On Sunday we will hold meetings in resettled and DDA colonies followed by Muslim dominated area during the next week,” Amanatullah Khan, MLA from Okhala said. The AAP government is seeking to ascertain the public's wishes for preparing the budget as it aims at decentralisation of the decision-making process.
“Delhi has been divided into 12 segments and Rs 20 crore will be allotted to each. These segments will be further divided into 40 parts so each gets Rs 50 lakh,” an official said.