MP: IAS officer gets notice for raising questions about Open Defecation Free campaign
Madhya Pradesh government has served a notice to a woman IAS officer for raising some serious questions about the Centre’s Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign.
Deepali Rastogi, a 1994-batch IAS officer presently serving as Commissioner of the Madhya Pradesh Tribal Welfare Department, expressed her views on ODF campaign in an article in an English daily earlier this month.
“A show cause notice has been issued yesterday to Deepali Rastogi for alleged violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules,” a senior officer at the state Secretariat said on Wednesday.
The notice sought an explanation about her article raising serious questions over the Centre’s flagship scheme.
In her article, Rastogi said the ODF campaign was an attempt to change a centuries-old mindset in just a few months because the white people say it is wrong to defecate in the open.
She also raised doubts about the availability of water to keep clean the toilets constructed under the ODF campaign.
After picking holes in the way the scheme was touted by the government, she concluded saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for toilets. After all, I am a city-dweller. I’m just uncomfortable with the way we are pushing it.”
The opposition Congress criticised the government for slapping a notice on the civil servant saying the questions raised by her should be addressed instead of suppressing the voice.
“Nobody is against the construction of toilets. But, the questions raised by Rastogi are relevant,” MP Congress Committee Chief Arun Yadav told PTI.
“We are not even able to provide drinking water so far in many areas then how the water would be arranged to flush the toilets. Even today in rural areas, people have to fetch drinking water from distant places,” he said.
Senior BJP leader and MP Prahlad Patel told reporters recently in Bhopal that the some of the questions raised by Rastogi are practical and government needs to address this problem.