The Aam Aadmi Party government’s ‘Mohalla clinic’ project seeks approval from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met Jung this week seeking approval for the same. Jung had sent back the documents pertaining to the proposal to open such clinics inside school premises citing legal impediments, earlier this month.
“The Delhi government has sent a file regarding their proposal to open Mohalla clinic within the premises of the schools. L-G has returned the file after making certain observations asking the government to send comprehensive note and asked it to rework on the proposal. After corrections are made, the government can send the file back to the L-G’s office,” a senior from the L-G’s office said earlier this month.
“If we allow mohalla clinics in government schools then we won’t be able to stop private schools from establishing private clinics within their schools premises. This would further lead to problems,” the official said.
Sisodia, however, seems more hopeful this time around. “We told him how important these clinics are for 15 lakh students… There was some confusion over the change in the use of land but it was clarified that these will be opened only in government schools and not in private schools. He looked positive. Let’s see what he decides,” he said.
The government had announced the intention to establish 1,000 Mohalla clinics by the end of this year – the deadline for which has now been pushed to the next year. Operated by the Delhi government to ensure free primary healthcare to all, 106 Mohalla clinics are fully operational in the national capital, treating close to 2500 patients each day.
The Delhi government initial proposal moving a cabinet note was to open Mohalla clinics on any department’s land without seeking approval. However, there was grave opposition by several departments as prior plans for these plots had already been made. The departments also dismissed the proposal of opening clinics on the roadside and service lanes citing ‘potential encroachment of right of passage’ as an issue.