Open defecation is not quite against the Hindutva concept. On other hand some of the majority community do enjoy attending to nature’s calls, enjoying nature’s beauty around, preferably before sunrise. Just when the golden rays are trying to reach out. They do this not out of choice but because they have no choice. No facility of a toilet at home. They try to do their business before people get out of their houses. One hundred per cent of them are the poorest of the poor.
When Prime Minister Modi took up Swachh as his top agenda, many felt that he would help in building a toilet attached to every house. This did not happen though the Modi government is into its 4th year. But his Parivar government at Madhya Pradesh has been earnest; it has made the programme a source of revenue!
Incredible, it may appear but it is true. It is a money spinner. In Madhya Pradesh the authorities have already raised Rs. 10 lakhs through fines recovered from 200 families for defecating in the open. A
family has to pay Rs.75,000 and the other RS.52,000 @ Rs.250 per day. If reports are to be believed these were imposed last week, as per the provisions under the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat (Swachha Safai Tahat Nuisance Nivaraan Evam Upsaman) Rules 1999, (MPP(SSTNNEU)R 1999) which provides for imposing penalty worth Rs.250 on those for creating public nuisance and spreading filth.
Imagine the potential for revenue generation through such a levy.. In India there are many households without toilets. Of the ‘sava sow crore deshwasiyo’ (Out of the 125 crore citizens) in the country
a sizeable number have no choice other than ease themselves in the open. For when nature calls what is the option?
If they are all fined all over India we can even fund bullet trains to all state capitals! Imagine such huge revenue raked up on a daily basis. Finance Minister Jaitley will surely like to impose GST and take a cut for the Central exchequer. Dr. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister of Kerala, ever hungry for funds, need not have hopes. Kerala is free of Open Defecation but if he can persuade the Chief Minister of Kerala to extend MPP(SSTNNEU)R1999 to Kerala with a wider definition there is tremendous scope. There are many men in the state who urinate on the roadside who can easily be fined Rs.100. With so many diabetic cases and weak bladders in the state, Dr. Isaac can expect substantial revenue for the next decade or so, sufficient enough to rehabilitate Gulf returnees expected in huge numbers during this period. Imagine the potential for jobs.
Virtually every street and open ground has to be under the lens. The nature of nature’s call is such; it can be sudden and once called very little time to hold on. Proper scrutiny would need crores of employment. Most of the pre-election promises can be fulfilled. But there is a catch; these poorest of the poor may not pay the fine, but prefer jail term, if the inflation rate maintains the present pace. But you can trust the State Bank of India and its ilk, known for collection through deceit without any notice from bank accounts, manage them by extracting the last pie from their possession including dwelling units. Indian banks are specialised in collecting money from the poorest, they have problem only in realising dues from tycoons like the Vijay Mallyaas. In any case there would be substantial collection from the ‘sava sow karod deshwasiyon.’ Sure enough, Swachh can be a major money spinner, more than any other levies. The only expenditure would be more collection centres, preferably SBI branches, who are well versed in such operations, in rural areas.
Congratulations to the MP government. After the unique Vyapam now it is the fine for open defecation. A marvellous revenue raiser!