In an unprecedented step, the sub-divisional magistrate of Sadar in Bijnore took strict action against 11 residents of Ismailpur Neemdas village for defecating in the open.
Taking cognisance of the complaint of villagers who feared breach of peace in the village, SDM Anuj Kumar summoned 11 people who were accused of defecating in the open.
The SDM asked them to deposit two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each and a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh each. Their bond and sureties will be confiscated if they are found responsible for breach of peace in the village in future.
This is the first case of its kind in which a court has taken such an action against people defecating in the open in an ODF village.
Ismailpur Neemdas has already been declared an open defecation free (ODF) village.
Chief development officer (CDO) of Bijnor Indramani Tripathi said that such steps would strengthen the ODF movement in the district. He said that the villagers had approached him a few days ago and lodged a complaint in this connection.
“I had warned these 11 people not to defecate in the open and cooperate with villagers in keeping the surroundings clean. When they ignored the warning, the matter was taken up by the SDM who acted against them to maintain peace in the village,” the CDO said.
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, the ambassador of Swacch Bharat Mission, has felicitated the district magistrate of Bijnor for outstanding work in making the entire district free of open defecation.
A total of 300 out of 1,128 gram panchayats of the district have been declared ODF and 500 additional gram panchayats are set to join the list by next month.
“We have been working hard to achieve our target with the active participation of the community. We will not allow anyone to spoil their efforts,” the CDO said.
He lauded the initiative of the then district magistrate Vijay Anand for encouraging people to make their district free of open defecation.
Anand is presently posted as district magistrate of Varanasi where he is on the mission to ensure active participation of the people to maintain cleanliness.
10 slapped Rs 500 fine
Gram panchayat of Doodhali in UP’s Bijnor has slapped a penalty of Rs 500 each on 10 people for defecating in the open in the last one month.
The action came as a result of the efforts of gram pradhan Shamima, her family-members and villagers who are trying hard to ensure the inclusion of Doodhali in the list of open defecation free (ODF) villages.
The villagers have formed five ODF committees to check open defecation. The heads of these five committees informed the village pradhan that 10 people were defecating in the open.
“After identifying 10 villagers, we tried to convince them not to defecate in the open. When they ignored our repeated warnings, gram panchayat slapped a fine of Rs 500 on each of them,” said Raees, son of the gram pradhan, who is actively monitoring the ODF activities in the village.
Chief development officer, Bijnor, Indramani Tripathi said that a gram panchayat had the right to impose fine under the Panchayati Raj Act. “It shows the effort being put in by the people to keep their village clean,” he said.
Later, the village pradhan approached the CDO to seek guidance as to where the amount should be deposited.
“As the fine was slapped for the first time, the villagers were not aware in which account it would be deposited. They approached me on Wednesday to seek guidance,” said Tripathi.
Presently, the village has 107 toilets and the district administration has sanctioned the construction of additional 25 toilets for families belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category who cannot afford to construct it on their own.
Raees said that they had requested the people having toilets in their houses to allow its use by those who do not have it.