Tribune News Service
Panchkula, April 19
In a bid to save their skin and shift the blame on villagers in the infamous toilet scam at Bataour village, officials of the block-level Rural Development Department have committed yet another blunder.
To cover up the “non-existence of the toilets”, the Block Development Officer has issued notices to villagers, claiming that the toilets had been constructed, but were later demolished by the villagers.
“It is a move to implicate the villagers,” said Manish (20), who had blown the lid off the scam.
The notice states, “We had got toilets constructed for you, but you have demolished these. You have to construct the toilets within three days. If you fail to do so, necessary action will be taken.”
A villager said on condition of anonymity, “No toilet was ever constructed. Why would we demolish toilets after all? He alleged that block-level officials threatened them daily in this regard.
Taking serious note of the issue, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Vivek Atray said, “Any notice sent subsequent to the complaint regarding the scam from the youth won’t affect the inquiry. Why have the notices been issued now after the matter was highlighted and not before that. The officials involved in the scam will have to face the music.”
Atray has reconstituted the committee probing the toilet scam. Officials from the department concerned are not part of it.
Being denied info, claims whistleblower
The whistleblower, Manish, has submitted a complaint to the DC’s office stating that he is being denied information under the RTI Act. Over 40 days ago, he had sought some information.
“I had filed an RTI plea seeking details about the works executed since 2010 and the money spent on these along with a copy of the attendance register under the scheme. However, the officials concerned are not providing me the information. I have an audio recording of gram panchayat members asking me not to seek information,” said Manish.
On this, the DC said he would look into the issue tomorrow and take action.
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