‘Guardian’ lieutenant governor hits the road after swearing-in

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NEW DELHI: Within hours of being sworn in as lieutenant governor of Delhi and telling reporters that he would be seen more on the streets of the capital than in Raj Niwas, Vinai Kumar Saxena, 64, hit the ground running. With virtually the heads of all the civic and planning agencies of the city in tow, he travelled between the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, and IGI Airport, stopping at 15 locations along the way. At each stop, he gave instructions to the officials, asking them to “aesthetically rejuvenate and overhaul the areas” and ensure “symmetry in city infrastructure”, stressing on cleanliness and greenery.


Just a few hours back, he had been administered the oath of office and secrecy by acting chief justice of Delhi high court Vipin Sanghi at Raj Niwas in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his cabinet colleagues, a couple of central government ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges of the high court and bureaucrats. His appointment came in the wake of Anil Baijal resigning from the post last week citing “personal reasons”.

 Newly-appointed Delhi LG Vinai Saxena

You'll see me more on roads than in Raj Nivas: Newly-appointed Delhi LG Vinai Saxena

Soon after the event, he had told reporters that he would be a “local guardian” to the people of the city and would be out on the streets. He observed that Delhi had some problems which he intended to solve during his tenure. “Delhi has some inherent problems and pollution is at the top — be it water, air or noise. We will work together with the Centre, state and local bodies to address these issues,” he said. The chief secretary of Delhi and heads of DDA, NDMC, MCD and other departments were soon following him around the city.
After the swearing-in ceremony, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that his government would provide “full support” to the new LG. “I assure that the Delhi government will provide full support to the new LG. We have done several developmental works together with his predecessor, Anil Baijal, and hope to continue the same with Saxenaji. We are looking forward to it,” he said.

Delhi’s first non-bureaucrat LG voiced his concern about communal tension in the city in the past couple of years and said he would want all communities — Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians — to work together. In a clear to reference to the recent riots in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri and the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, Saxena recited a short poem on communal harmony and asked people to join hands and work together to make Delhi a beautiful place to live in.
“There have been a few riots in Delhi… we should work together as brothers… I will try to work together with everyone to make Delhi a beautiful city — a city of joy, a city of flowers,” the LG said. “Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas should be our motive, and with this mantra, we will work for the development of Delhi,” he added.

The LG said that improving the living conditions of the underprivileged and upskilling the labour class were also among his top priorities. He said he will work on the unorganised sector and provide training to unskilled labourers. “A major part of Delhi’s working sector is unorganised with labourers coming from very poor financial backgrounds. They are involved in construction, plumbing, carpentry etc. To help and empower these workers, we will provide them with training, equipment and tools,” he said.

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