Swachh Bharat Mission: Rajasthan acts tough with arrests, ration cuts to become Open Defecation Free

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Published: September 7, 2017 7:55:33 AM

Swachh Bharat Mission: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's government has been taking stringent measures to make Rajasthan Open Defecation Free (ODF) state

 Swachh Bharat Mission, MGNREGA, Rajasthan MGNERGA, Rajasthan Swachh Bharat, Vasundhara Raje, Swachh Bharat honour, Rajasthan Open Defecation FreeSwachh Bharat Mission: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s government has been taking stringent measures to make Rajasthan Open Defecation Free (ODF) state. (Express image)

Swachh Bharat Mission: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s government has been taking stringent measures to make Rajasthan Open Defecation Free (ODF) state, according to Indian Express report. The ‘crackdown’ started after the state fared poorly in the Swachh Bharat survey. Bundi, which was the highest-ranked district of the state, was placed at 171. The tourist places like Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Udaipur are ranked at 209, 215 and 310 respectively. On May 23, then Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu expressed his disappointment over the Rajsthan’s dismal performance. Some of the measures are Suspension of subsidised rations, denial of work under the MGNREGA, arrests, threats to disconnect electricity, warnings to take action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and imposition of fines.

It all started after Naidu expressed displeasure. State government ordered an analysis of the poor performance. Principal Secretary, Local Self Government department, Manjit Singh told Indian Expres that the lack of ODF was the main reason. “It is not as if Indore (ranked 1) and Bhopal (2) are ‘cleaner’ than Jaipur, Jodhpur or Udaipur; we have good waste collection systems… Waste Management and ODF account for 45 per cent weightage. In Rajasthan, the construction of toilets under the ODF campaign took off a bit late, but we are well on our way,” Singh was quoted as saying by IE. Villagers claim the result has been a “crackdown”.

In the state, the campaign is mainly implemented by the departments of Panchayati Raj and Urban Development and Housing. Srichand Kriplani, the minister concerned, however said he was not aware of suspension of services. “There may be one or two issued at the local level, but we have not issued any such orders at the departmental level,” he said.

According to reports, the government had set a target to make over 83 lakh toilets in rural Rajasthan. So far about 62 lakh had been built, IE report says. By mid-July, Panchayati Raj and Urban Development and Housing had uploaded over 18 lakh photographs of ‘completed toilets’ on a Union government mobile app.

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