Toilets at Yojana Bhawan: Is it a case of trial by an activist media?
In response to the news item appearing in media which castigated the Planning Commission for spending Rs. 30 lakh to renovate two toilets in the Yojana Bhawan office in Delhi, the Planning Commission has issued a statement and has called it a routine maintenance and upgradation.
The Planning Commission has clarified that the toilets being repaired or renovated are public toilet blocks and not private toilets for senior officials or members. The costing and execution of works was done by the CPWD, and the entire work is being done within the budgetary allocation and following the prescribed procedure. The work was required as the Yojana Bhawan is more than fifty years old where the plumbing and sewerage systems have deteriorated causing leakages that tend to damage the structure itself.
The money has been spent on two blocks each of which can be simultaneously used by approximately ten people. In addition, the toilet blocks have separate facility for the differently abled. The statement points out that a large number of people visit and work at Yojana Bhawan every day and more than 1,500 meetings are held every year.
The statement points out the fact that the answers given under RTI application are limited to the specific issue or query being raised. It raises the issue why the Press has given so much prominence to the motivated allegations on the basis of limited queries, without check the full facts. Mr. Montek Singh has been under fire from the media for the poverty line debate.