Wednesday, June 6, 2012

With economy plummeting Planning Commission enhances its peeing ambiance

New Delhi: The Planning Commission has issued a statement in an attempt to explain why it spent 35 lakh rupees on renovating two toilets in its office.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman of the Commission, avoided questions on Wednesday morning about the controversy. The expenditure was revealed by a Right to Information application filed by activist Subhash Agarwal who points out, "Cost of installation of Door Access Control System is Rs. 5,19,426 for two toilets. Cost of renovation of two toilets where door access control system is installed is Rs. 30,00,305."
Social activist Nikhil Dey links that controversial statement to the swanky toilet plan. "There is almost everything that is wrong with what was done and with the justification for it. The Planning Commission represents planning for whom, the poor of the country. And there has been a dispute with their figures because there has been a perception with everyone that within the planning commission they have one standard for the poor and another for the rich. They were placing smart cards for entry into those toilets. That privatizes, reduces the number of those who can use's a huge amount of money and it's that same planning commission that not only decides what the poverty line is but also decides on how much money can be spent on a toilet across the country," he says.
Apart from the poverty line estimates issue, Mr Ahluwalia was also criticized recently after a newspaper reported, based on an RTI reply, that Rs. 2.02 lakh a day was spent by him on foreign travel between May and October, 2011. Another report said that he undertook 42 official trips (between June 2004-January 2011) of 274 days at a cost of Rs. 2.34 crore.
Planning Commission renovates its Rest Rooms for Rs 35 lakhs
Comment: What an irony? An American Bill Gates trying to build cheap toilets for Indian masses and sample Planning Commission's wasteful expenditure of Rs 35 lakhs on one single toilet...
Reinventing a toilet that has an operational cost of $0.05 per user, per day, that does not rely on water to flush waste and does not discharge pollutants is Bill Gates' latest mission. "One of my ultimate dreams now is to reinvent the toilet - find a cheaper alternative to the flush toilet that does not require running water, has smell characteristics better than the flush toilet and is cheap."
Reinventing the toilet is Bill Gates's new mission: click here

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