Will AAP’s Historic Victory Translate into a Historic Change in Delhi?

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AAP’s sweeping victory has revved up Delhi’s hopes to a magnanimous extent. The mountain of change, the burden of this hope lies on Mr. Kejriwal’s shoulder. The AAP manifesto promises a lot of changes that would in reality transform Delhi into a functional metropolitan for once. But these idealistic plans may or may not translate thoroughly into forthcoming actions. While on paper, everything looks plausible, when you do a cost analysis, real time objective break down of each of these agendas – some look hopeful, some look positivistic while the others simply impractical. Let’s analyze a few of AAPs promises a bit logistically.

  • Free Water

Hopefully, AAP will be taking care of a few important aspects when it comes to corruption. Government offices need a close eye. The inspection of procedures, transparency in dealings and of course nepotism needs serious attention. The biggest crisis that affects every household in Delhi is in regards to water, for  the mafia controls distribution networks of water in Delhi. In a city where the supply of water to certain areas like VasantKunj, Govindpurietc is already compromised, perhaps require legal intervention. The promise to offer 700 litres of free water can resolve a massive warer crisis that Delhi has been tackling for a decade. Reviving the Yamuna is definitely a long term plan. Short term relief would be what makes people consider AAP efficient. Efforts like public hydrants for the under privileged population, wastewater utilization, streamlining water regulations, operationalization of water treatment plants are what we look forward to.

  • Transforming Delhi Transportation

This will be slightly challenging. Given the construction of new roads and new mediums of commuting is a gradual process, the fruits of their labor may benefit Delhi but patience is what’ll be a tardy thing for Delhites. AAP plans to carve out a system where Auto-walas are equally happy, fairly paid and thus dedicated to help commuters. If an Auto wala is over charging the ideal thing to do would be take immediate action. The immediacy of action previously was never in place due to the way the Transport authority works.

  •  MohallaSabhas

The MohallaSabha participation can increasing change the way Municipal Corporation works. The vocalization of public opinion and giving them the right to make decisions about their immediate surroundings looks great on paper but what of the conflict of interest? A Jain community will not be okay with opening non-veg restaurants in a local area nearby. But what of the people who would for convenience sake prefer having non-vegetarian cuisines cheap and close by. While this analogy may look simplistic it raises and important question about communal dialectic in Delhi. It is the most diverse city with segregations and monopolies interlaced in every small area. How does AAP hope to tackle the contradictions of public opinions? How will every community feel they have an agency without compromising on the betterment of the Mohalla as a whole. The MohallaSabha will also be able to cancel licenses and be a power of authority when it comes to opening of liquor shops. Won’t this be a bit counter intuitive to development? What of the man who wishes to earn his livelihood by opening a ration shop and receives backlash because of religious bias or personal bias?

  • Statehood

While asking for Statehood is an ideal demand if the matters of unrest and state importance need to be dealt with efficiently. The problem is that the Central Government may not respond to this demand that easily. India’s capital is Delhi. The Centre would not forgo control. The BJP & AAP conflict also should be kept in mind. Modi may have shown respect for Kejriwal’s landslide win, he still wouldn’t accord the bulk of decision making power onto the State government of Delhi. The decentralization of power in this particular case is definitely suspect. To be able to control Delhi Police would the serve the State government well. Law and order is a crucial aspect of Delhi’s woes. The reformation of how the state is policed on a regular basis is the need of the hour but can we expect the Centre to be responsive? It is an ideological crisis. The power vested in Centre once transferred to State, makes AAP liable. Maybe, liability is bait for BJP to respond well. We will have to see.

  • Auditing Discoms

Auditing Discoms revealed that they had actually made millions in profit, Rs. 3577 crores to be exact. Ideally the power prices then should be minimal yet the citizen paid the price of privatization. Discoms have been showing inflated losses to benefit their partner concerns. The idea of auditing Discoms is great because then power tariffs can be structured and there is transparency. The promise of transparent governance is what makes AAP the ideal governing party. However will the privates eventually be a step ahead and cover their steps better? Corruption itself is such a complex entity that it percolates to the lower most stages of a process. Once enmeshed, one cannot just cut the serpents head. When AAP offers the right to choose electricity suppliers, it enables the public to set the standard high for the Discoms. They cannot simply take advantage of public dependency. Competitive distribution may just end the hegemony of Discoms. Solar Power is definitely an efficient way of cutting down electricity costs. It will induce a new splurge in Delhi for now there will be a natural alternative that people have. What AAP promises truly is the power of choice, to their electorate.

  • Expenditure on CCTVs

AAP wants to put 10 – 15 Lakh cameras in Delhi, which translates to logistically one Camera for every Ten persons in the city. Let’s consider the cost of one camera which is at least 10,000. So the expenditure of installation all over the city would exceed 1000 Crores. Assuming one man is manning 10 – 12 cameras, an approximation of about a lakh people getting employed is reasonable. If the daily wage is 400 Rs per person, the operational cost of this project is 400 x 345 x 1,00,000or more than 1400 Cr.If the surveillance needs are considered this figure starts to become mind boggling. As far as AAPs agenda of serving Delhi along with cost reduction is concerned, this project seems unrealistic to the very thought and more so upon observing the application cost.

Henna Pandey

Image Source: [http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/sites/default/files/PromiseOfAap.jpg]