Disappointed with the pace of Swachh Bharat Mission work in the district, Manasa sub-divisional magistrate BL Kochle has asked ration depot holders in Neemuch to deny subsidized food grains to families that do not have toilets at home.
During a review meeting on Wednesday, Kochle asked the gram sarpanch and panchayat secretaries to prepare a list of families that do not have an approval stamp for toilets. The list would then be handed over to all PDS salesmen in the district along with necessary instructions in line with Kochle’s diktat.
The move has angered many villagers and social organisations, who feel that Kochle is denying them of their basic rights.
RTI activist and advocate Amit Sharma has termed the sub-divisional magistrate’s decision as dictatorial. “Are they trying to take away their right to food? For poor people, food is more important than hygiene”.
Paramjeet Fauji, a member of Bhartiya Manav Adhikar Parishad said, “No one here is opposed to toilet construction, but this attitude might infuriate everyone”.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, every house in the Nagar Panchayat is supposed to build a toilet. The estimated cost of each toilet has been fixed at Rs 20,000. While the Nagar Panchayat grants Rs 19,000, the family will have to contribute Rs 1,000 as its share for the project.