Wealthy landlord in Chhattisgarh gets 13 Swachh Bharat toilets built in poor tenants' name at his rented house
By Ejaz Kaiser | Express News Service | Published: 16th April 2017 06:51 PM |
RAIPUR: A wealthy landlord apparently in connivance with the Kirorimalnagar Nagar panchayat got thirteen Swachh Bharat toilets built at his rented house, which is segregated into a set of tenements (small rooms) in Raigarh district, about 240 km east of Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur.
A resident of Vijaynagar mohalla, Kamlesh Sahu, has let out his brick building structure to over a dozen labourers reportedly from Jharkhand, West Bengal and Maharashtra by constructing several single rooms, but with "no toilet facilities". The labourers had to defecate in the open fields.
The rented premises now has 13 toilets in the name of the beneficiaries who are “not” local residents of Kirorimalnagar.
“I have no idea how the tenants got the toilets built. I only know that the staff of Nagar panchayat took photocopies of my tenants Aadhaar cards and later constructed separate toilets for them. Don’t know how and on what basis this was accomplished by the Nagar panchayat,” Kamlesh Sahu said in his defense.
The financial incentives under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are usually provided to families below poverty line (BPL), for construction and usage of individual household latrines (IHHL).
The toilets at Kirorimalnagar were constructed in the name of poor labourers who are mostly migrants and working in Jindal Steel and Power Limited, at Raigarh.
The officials of the Nagar panchayat cited ignorance but stated that every house needs to have a toilet, and the toilets might have been constructed on this pretext.
Activists blame the pressure and corruption within the ongoing programme that led to such s situation. “There are construction targets given and the pressure mounted to accomplish them. So, those not entitled for the scheme get access to reap the benefits”, said social activist Rakesh Choubey.
When contacted, Raigarh collector Alarmelmangai D said such practices under the Swachh Bharat mission are not permissible. “Will institute a probe into the matter”, she told the New Indian Express.