Delhiites have neither fresh air to breathe nor safe water to drink. The drinking water supplied to residents in the national Capital has failed on all the 19 parameters — odour, iron, calcium, ammonia, chloride, anionic detergent and coliform among others.
But these were the problem of the past. Now gone are those difficult and intolerable days because Kejariwal Government has come with a list of freebies on the eve of forthcoming assembly elections of 2020 for the comfort and jubilation of Delhi’s voters. The freebies range from free electricity, free water, and free Wi-Fi to free bus rides for women.
1. Free Electricity To Delhiites
In a pre-election sop, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Aug 1, 2019, announced that electricity in the capital would be free for those who consume less than 200 units a month (100 percent subsidy by state) while those who consume between 201 and 400 units would be given a 50 percent subsidy by the state.
Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) too, has reduced the fixed charges for most domestic connections by up to 84% thus reducing the burden on consumers.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal further declared that the AAP government’s schemes for free electricity up to 200 units for Delhiites will continue for the next five years if the party returns to power.
2. Free Tirth Yatra Yojna For Senior Citizens Of Delhi
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Jul 9, 2018, approved the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojna’ for senior citizens under which the Delhi government will bear the expenses of 77,000 pilgrims every year. Delhi residents above the age of 60 are covered under this scheme. The government said that those selected, will be allowed to be accompanied by an attendant aging 18 years or above and their expenditure will be borne by the city administration.
However, this offer is conditional and may prove to be a hard nut to crack.
Terms and conditions:
- Delhi residents above the age of 60 are covered under this scheme.
The scheme will enable 1,100 senior citizens from each of 70 assembly constituencies of Delhi every year to undertake free pilgrimage.
- Pilgrimage duration- 3 days and 2 nights.
- The facility will be availed only once.
- The applicant will have to give a self-attested certificate that all information being given by them is correct and they have not availed the scheme in the past.
- Travel will be arranged in air-conditioned buses through coach tours of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and boarding, lodging, and food along with pilgrimage will be free (born for by the state government).
- All application forms will be available online and will be filed either through the Office of Divisional Commissioner or the office of the respective MLA or the office of the Tirth Yatra Committee.
- The selection of pilgrims will be done through draw of lots and respective area MLA will have to certify that the applicant is a bonafide resident of their constituency. All other modalities will be specified in the final notification.
3. Free Water to Delhiites
In a major sop ahead of the Assembly polls due early next year, Kejriwal announced waving water arrears of consumers in colonies categorized E, F, G and H covering the majority of the middle-class households.
Terms and conditions:
- According to the existing rate, for domestic consumers who use between 20,000 liters and 30,000 liters of water per month, the service charge is Rs 219.62 and the volumetric charge is Rs 21.97 per 1,000 liters. Customers who use over 30,000 liters a month have to pay Rs 292.82 in the service charge and Rs 36.61 per 1,000 liters in volumetric charge
- As per the new norm, after the 20,000 liters that a metered household gets for free, the exceeded limit will be charged at a 20 percent higher rate.
Incidentally, as per new norm, even if one is exceeding the threshold limit of the subsidized water by even a liter, he will have to pay the bill for the entire quantity consumed.
4. Free Rides in Public Buses for Women Commuters of Delhi
During his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced free-ride for women commuters in both DTC and cluster buses will start from October 29, which is ‘Bhai Dooj’.
Terms and Conditions:
- As per the new bounty, women commuter in Delhi can now travel for free on public-run buses. Conductors will distribute pink tickets with a face value of ₹10 each to women passengers for free-travel. The government will reimburse the Delhi Transport Corporation based on the number of such tickets issued.
• However, women employees of the Delhi government, local bodies and undertakings will not be entitled to transport allowance if they opt for a free ride in DTC and cluster buses, according to the government.
However, the AAP government’s schemes for a free ride for women in DTC buses for Delhiites will continue for the next five years if the party returns to power.
5. Free Internet services
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019, announced that Delhiites will get free 15 GB data per month through a hotspot network across the city.
In addition, he said that Work on setting up 11,000 hotspots across the city is going on.
The Opposition has, obviously, termed the announcement nothing but a poll gimmick, citing the delay since 2015, when the AAP had taken office, promising to make Delhi a Wi-Fi city.