Outrage over Rs 35 L spend on Plan Panel toilets
New Delhi: An Indian who spends Rs 32 a day or more is not poor, as per the Planning Commission’s definition of poor.
However, the same Plan Panel splurges Rs 35 lakhs on refurbishing two toilets at its headquarters!
An RTI query has brought to light this shocking fact, leading to outrage among many. Questions are being asked as to why public exchequer’s money is being spent like this.
Of the Rs 35 lakh spent by the Commission renovating two toilets at Yojana Bhawan, Rs 5.19 lakh were spent on a “door access control system”, which allows only 60 “very high dignitaries” provided with smart cards to use these international airport-grade restrooms.
Plan Panel chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia parried questions on the matter, while an official statement said the expenditure was on routine maintenance.
The Commission also clarified that the toilets were not exclusively meant to be used by just senior people.
Ten people can use the toilet block together at one point of time, it added.
The reply to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal’s application also revealed that the Plan Panel wants to install CCTV cameras in the corridors outside these toilets — to check theft of the bathroom fittings. Estimates of the cost have been sought from the Central Public Works Department.
Another Plan Panel note spells out why this is not money down the drain.
“Things like disturbing/breaking of sanitary appliances are taking place frequently.... Very high dignitaries visit Yojana Bhawan in connection with official work. In addition to this, non-official members of different committees visit Yojana Bhawan for attending meetings,” the note says.
It adds that damaged or defunct sanitary fittings portray the Commission in poor light before the visiting dignitaries.
The Commission’s reply to the RTI plea says: “Cost of installation of door access control system is Rs 5,19,426 for two toilets. Cost of renovation of (the) two toilets... is Rs 30,00,305.”
An earlier noting that proposed the toilet upgrade said these two loos would be renovated as a pilot project, after which a decision would be taken on renovating three other toilets in the building.
The revelations come months after the Commission faced accusations of insensitiveness over its declared poverty criteria: a per head, per day expenditure of Rs 26 in the villages and Rs 32 in urban areas.
(With PTI inputs)
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- DNA: AIIMS doctor removes both kidneys of minor, claims she had only one
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- Mathura rally: PM Modi's ten power-packed dialogues
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow
- CBSE Class X Board Results 2015 to declared tomorrow
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- What couldn't be done in last 10 years, NDA govt did in one year: Smriti Irani in Amethi