Delhi Budget: Health, education to get lion’s share this year

Although the focus of the Delhi government’s budget this year will be on improvement of infrastructure, education and health sectors will continue to get the lion’s share, like previous years, officials said. The two sectors have been a key domain of the AAP-led government ever since it came to power in Delhi.

On the education front, the government is planning to increase the number of Dr Ambedkar Schools of Specialized Excellence (SoSEs) to accommodate 10,000 children. There is also a proposal to provide new tablets to all Delhi government school teachers, including regular, guest and contractual teachers, vice principals and principals, said sources.

They also said the AAP-led government, which has won the MCD polls, will focus on upgrading corporation schools. “To strengthen the base of children at the primary level, Delhi government schools will work closely with their feeder schools in MCD to improve children’s foundational skills,” said the official.

In the health sector, the government is planning to increase free test facilities at Mohalla clinics from 250 to 450 tests. Four of nine new hospitals, which are currently under construction, will be inaugurated next year. Extensions of 15 existing hospitals, including Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, and GTB, will also be taken up on a mission mode, officials said.

“A massive expansion plan is an underway to increase the number of beds available for patients in Delhi government hospitals from 14,200 to 30,000,” said officials.

The budget will also focus on increasing the city’s total sewage treatment capacity from 632 MGD (million gallons per day) to 890 MGD — a significant increase of 40% in a single year.

The budget is scheduled to be presented on March 21. In the 2022-23 budget, around Rs 2,000 crore was allocated for the construction of roads and bridges. Delhi’s budget was Rs 75,800 crore last year.

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