Sheila Dikshit blames unbridled influx of migrants for Delhi's woes

Identifying "unbridled influx" of migrants into Delhi as a major challenge, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today blamed the burgeoning population for putting existing infrastructure under strain and sought help from the Centre to deal with the situation.

In her address at 57th meeting of the National Development Council, Dikshit said the national capital was grappling with "unparallelled and unprecedented" challenges and cited continuous influx of people from across the country as a major cause of concern.

"Delhi's burgeoning population trend is further exacerbated by the continuous and unbridled influx of people from all over the country. Higher wages, better educational and health care facilities, more employment opportunities are some of the factors responsible for the continuous influx," she said.

Acknowledging the contribution of the migrants in evolution of an "eclectic culture" in the city, Dikshit, however, said the ever increasing population has put enormous pressure on housing, sanitation, power, water, sewerage, solid waste management, public health and transport system.

"The proliferation of private vehicles and consequent clogging of roads is another problem that shows no trend of abatement," she said emphasising the need for bringing an innovative multimodel transport system for the city at the "earliest".

"Being the capital city of India, making Delhi an environmentally sustainable habitat and a global heritage city as envisaged in the 12th Plan is a national desideratum and calls for huge resources and massive effort," Dikshit added.

Listing various hurdles facing her government in combating various challenges, Dikshit rued that Delhi has not been given full statehood and that control over land and police was with the Centre, issues on which it has often expressed its unhappiness.

Emphasising on the need to invest in the social sector, Dikshit said economic growth per se will not gurantee eradication of poverty and hence inclusive growth has to be a "guiding philosophy" in all development paradigms.

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