Politics of Fakery

By Himanshu Jain

In a democracy, it is extremely important for all political parties to advertise and claim their activities to lure voters. It is with these claims appearing as advertisements in news or on digital media or hoardings a perception is formed among voters.

Largely in India till now political parties’ claims of their work were not way off the mark. There used to be several pot shots at each other claims by the ruling and opposition parties but blatant lies were not used as an instrument.

With the advent of AAP in politics, a new kind of politics has started. Surprisingly these claims now are not connected with reality at all. Earlier we could all agree that 70-80% of the claim by political parties would be true but now AAP has started a game often referred to as “Hit and Run”. The claims are without basis or any foundation and they are made with huge confidence by the entire leadership.

I have tried to highlight certain claims of AAP which are available on media or in Tweets and at the same time I have picked up articles from several national dailies and CAG reports that completely make a mockery of claims of AAP.

My idea is not to promote any political party but I intend to make people aware of the danger of getting conned by such political outfits and throwing their country into literal anarchy. The unheard-of use of TV channels and every hoarding and every newspaper by AAP to hammer its version can lead to people falling for misinformation.

Therefore it becomes our duty to spread awareness. Political decisions to vote should be made on true assessments and the practice of lies and the purchase of Media should be curtailed.

CLAIM

The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi Government presented a Rs 75,800-crore “Rozgaar Budget” for 2022-23 on March 26, 2022.

Less than two weeks later, on April 7, the AAP claimed that while the Bharatiya Janata Party-governed states were in huge debt, Delhi was the only “state” with a surplus Budget.

“If you want to learn governance, learn it from Kejriwal government. By emptying people’s pockets, the BJP makes states indebted,” tweeted the AAP in Hindi. It listed the debt burden of seven BJP-led states — Uttar Pradesh (UP), Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh — and compared it to Delhi’s revenue surplus.

FACT CHECKED & FOUND INCORRECT

The revenue surplus of NCT of Delhi in 2019-20 of ` 7,499 crore indicates that revenue receipts of the Government were sufficient to meet the revenue expenditure. Revenue surplus stood at 0.88 percent of GSDP in 2019-20 as against 0.81 percent in 2018-19. NCT of Delhi has been able to maintain a revenue surplus largely on account of pension liabilities of GNCTD employees being borne by GoI. In addition, the expenditure of the Delhi Police is also borne by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Of the BJP-led states listed in the AAP’s tweet, three have shown a revenue surplus in their recent Budget — UP (Rs 23,210 crore), Gujarat (Rs 1,006 crore), and Uttarakhand (Rs 115 crore). The numbers for Uttarakhand and UP are from 2021 since both states had elections in 2022.

While AAP enlisted other states’ debt, what it did not mention was the debt the Delhi government is under. Delhi’s outstanding debt was estimated to be Rs 40,697 crore at the end of 2020-21 (5.18% of GSDP), according to the 2022 Delhi Economic Survey.

The CAG report has pointed to unutilized funds for several critical projects in Delhi like CM Advocate Welfare Scheme, DNA Test Lab-Nirbhaya Fund, Swachh Bharat Mission, and Regional Rapid Transit System Corridor.

CLAIM

DTC in profit despite FREE Travel for Women – That’s the ‘Kejriwal Model’ for you 💯
Tweeted AAP

FACT CHECKED & FOUND INCORRECT

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has a negative net worth and contributed 99.74 percent of the loss incurred by state public sector enterprises (SPSEs) in the capital during 2019-20, according to a CAG report tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The CAG, in its reports, also pointed to various lapses by the Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation to manage and maintain existing as well as new inter-state bus terminals and bus queue shelters and questioned its existence.
The audit report for the year ending March 2019 stated that loans amounting to Rs 11,838 crore were disbursed to the Delhi Transport Corporation during 1996-2011, of which Rs 162 crore has been repaid leaving Rs 11,676 crore as outstanding as on 31 March 2019. Interest liability of Rs 26,070 crore on these loans was outstanding as of March 31, 2019.

CLAIM

APP Reported: DTC jumped its bus fleet strength from 4,168 in 2016 to 7,001 in 2022 whereas BMTC increased its bus fleet from 6,270 in 2016 to 6,911.

FACT CHECKED & FOUND INCORRECT

Amid the growing demand for more buses for public transport in the city, the DTC has decided to withdraw the 350 buses it had provided to various private schools in the national capital.
It has also decided not to provide more buses to private schools in the city from the new academic session.

In April 2022, the association of some private schools and parents went to the Delhi High Court regarding this matter, the matter is still in the court, but in the meantime, the Delhi Government has ordered the withdrawal of the DTC buses installed in private schools.

This decision has been taken because of the insufficient number of buses in the DTC fleet.

For those in the national capital who rely on buses for the daily commute, the road ahead seems far from smooth. According to government records, 83 percent of the buses that make up Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) existing fleet will be phased out by 2025, upon completion of their operational life of 15 years.

The DTC — after inducting 150 new electric buses in May, the first such expansion of its fleet in 11 years — now has a total strength of 3,910 buses.

Of the remaining 3,760 buses, as many as 3,246 (83 percent) will be phased out by September 2025. These numbers were discussed in the DTC’s previous board meeting on 6 June 2022.

DTC’s fleet after September 2025 will be roughly 2,314 buses.
According to a 2018 affidavit filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the Delhi High Court, the capital — given its present quantum of daily bus commuters — needs at least 11,000 buses of which 5,500 should ideally be owned by the DTC.

It effectively means that in September 2025, with 2,314 buses, DTC is likely to have only 42 percent of its requisite fleet size.

DELHI’S WATER MISMANAGEMENT

CAG pointed out that Delhi Jal Board’s capital assets and grants-in-aid were diverted for other purposes.

It also said that 80 percent of unauthorized colonies were still without piped water supply and that 576 unauthorized colonies were dependent on water tankers.

It reported that “Rs 37 lakh out of Rs 2.16 crore budget of ‘replacement of sewer lines at West Laxmi Market and Khureji Khas’ project was spent on advertisements for the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Delhi generates around 720 million gallons of wastewater a day. The 35 STPs located at 20 locations across Delhi can treat up to 597 MGD of sewage and have been utilizing around 90 percent of their capacity.

According to the DPCC, biological oxygen demand, total suspended solids, and total nitrogen in the treated wastewater should be 10 milligrams per liter or less.

On average, 24 out of the 34 STPs in the national capital did not meet the prescribed standards for wastewater over the last year, according to government data.

Of the 13 common effluent treatment plants in industrial areas across Delhi, only six comply with the DPCC standards for wastewater on average. Add to this factors such as nearly 40% distribution losses (as reported by DJB),

Poor rainwater harvesting—less than 10% of 15,706 private buildings and housing societies that had been registered for mandatory harvesting have the requisite infrastructure in place.

The biggest Noise on water supply by the Delhi government would continue to be on Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Water supply taking away attention from misrule and mismanagement.

Works of laying water and sewer lines in Delhi between 2013 and 2018 were planned and executed by divisions in an uncoordinated manner, resulting in expenditure incurred remaining unfruitful and the intended benefits undelivered, said the CAG in its audit of Delhi’s social, general, and economic sectors in the financial year 2018-19.

Only 353 and 126 unauthorized colonies were provided piped water supply and sewerage facilities respectively during this period by the Delhi government, the report said.

PSU OF DELHI IN HUGE LOSSES

Seven Delhi government companies have accumulated losses of Rs 31,724 crore.

Losses in Delhi power companies stood at Rs 2,561 crore.

Delhi Transport Department incurred a loss of Rs 29,143 crore

Delhi Jal Board Losses stood at Rs 27,660 crore

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