Justice Markandey Katju
The Aam Admi Party started its scheme of mohallla clinics with great fanfare in 2015 after it came to power in Delhi. The scheme envisaged providing a package of essential medicines, diagnostics and elementary medical treatment for illnesses to the common man in Delhi free of cost in every mohallla or locality in Delhi. It was planned to set up 1000 such clinics by 2020.
I myself was carried away by the propaganda about this scheme and personally visited 2 mohallla clinics in 2015 near Jamia Nagar and was happy to see their functioning. The scheme was praised nationally and internationally.
However, since then 3 1/2 years have expired and the reports coming in reveal that the scheme is in complete chaos, as admitted by officials in a meeting held on 28.5.2018 chaired by the Delhi Urban Development Minister. As stated in the meeting by the nodal officer in charge of the scheme, there is no maintenance system in place for the clinics.
As yet 164 such clinics have been allegedly set up, but many are only non functional buildings, and many short of electricity, water, doctors and staff.
As reported in a leading English daily, a contractor constructed 51 buildings for these clinics, but only 5 have been taken over, leaving the others unattended and liable to damage and misuse.
The Geeta Colony Flyover in East Delhi has a clinic building pending opening for long, but now its front door is gone, and inside are quilts and rugs used by homeless people looking for shelter.
Andheria Mod in Mehrauli has a clinic building which is used by people for consuming drugs and liquor.
A media organization conducted an investigation of 4 such mohallla clinics in Delhi.
In Kilokari, Maharanibagh clinic everything is in tatters, flooring, stands, lights, bathrooms. The clinic ran for a month and thereafter has been totally dysfunctional for an year.
Babarpur, Kabirnagar mohallla clinic is in the constituency of AAP Minister Gopal Rai. Horses and donkeys live inside it. Built an year ago, it caught fire before it's inauguration, and is in a charred condition. It is lying vacant and unattended
The Khajuri Flyover clinic has been waiting for doctors ever since it opened. It is frequented by goons and drug addicts.
Gokulpuri clinic has fans and a/c but is yet to begin operations.
Mohallla clinics in Azadpur, Sangam Vihar and many in Old Delhi are in a deplorable condition
(This comment has been originally published on the Facebook page of Justice Markandey Katju.)