Karnataka

Officials lose increment for not meeting toilet target in Bagalkot

For September, each PDO was set a target of getting 100 individual toilets built in houses.

For September, each PDO was set a target of getting 100 individual toilets built in houses.  

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The lack of toilets in some homes in the district has cost a number of officials their annual increment.

The Bagalkot Zilla Panchayat has cut the annual salary increment of 79 Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) for failing to ensure that residents build individual toilets at home under the Swachh Bharat initiative.

The ZP wants to declare the district open defecation-free and, to this end, for the month of September, each PDO was set a target of getting 100 individual toilets constructed across the 198 gram panchayats. However, several PDO failed to meet the target. “The PDOs were given the responsibility with a deadline. These are the officials who have to ensure work is done on the ground. But some of them have failed to complete their task, and therefore have had their increment cut,” said zilla panchayat CEO Kishor Suralkar.

Meanwhile, the PDOs expressed unhappiness over the decision and said they had put in their best efforts but some old habits die hard. They blamed citizens for not coming forward to get toilets constructed. They claimed to have held several rounds of awareness programmes to get people to do so.

“If the people are unwilling to understand the importance of toilets, what can we do? We can do our job to make them aware and [we] are doing it, but on many occasions people are reluctant to get toilets constructed. They still feel it is better to defecate in the open. Can we force them to get toilets constructed against their wish?” a PDO asked.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 1:15:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/officials-lose-increment-for-not-meeting-toilet-target-in-bagalkot/article20119508.ece

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