AS MANY as 179 gram panchayat members under the Pune Zilla Parishad (ZP) are likely to be disqualified from their posts or membership for not building toilets at their homes. Their fate now rests on the final verification which is going to take place shortly.
“We have sought the final verification from the respective block development officials. Once the list is verified, it will be forwarded to the collector after which their membership will be terminated under Section 14 of the Bombay Gram Panchayat Act, 1958,” said Anand Bhandari, deputy chief executive officer, ZP.
He said a list of about 400 members was prepared last year. Over the last one year, the number has come down after the members were given a one-year extension to build the toilet blocks. “The period is now over and we have prepared the final list,’’ said Bhandari.
The ZP had earlier issued notices, seeking clarification from these members as to why they had failed to build a toilet at their homes. The block development officers of respective areas were asked to visit the residences of every gram panchayat member to take stock of the situation. “We will get the final report and the names will be forwarded to the district collector,’’ he added.
The district collector will scrutinise the proposals and initiate further steps. The members did not build toilet facilities at their homes despite repeated reminders and the decision to disqualify them will send out a strong message to villagers, said ZP officials. Among 13 taluks in the district, Khed taluk has the largest number of erring officials.
According to the district administration, Pune district has completed around 90 per cent work on construction of toilets under the Nirmal Gram Yojana (total sanitation scheme) which aims for 100 per cent sanitation facilities.
According to statistics provided by the administrator, of the 1,401 gram panchayats in the district, only 470 have achieved the Nirmal Gram status so far. As per the estimate, around 6.25 lakh toilets are planned in the district while districts in western Maharashtra such as Kolhapur and Satara are close to the 100 per cent target set by the Union government.