ibnlive » India

Jun 06, 2012 at 11:21pm IST

Plan panel raises stink over toilets worth lakhs

New Delhi: An RTI plea has revealed that Rs 35 lakh were recently spent on renovating two bathrooms in Yojana Bhawan where the Planning Commission is located. Interestingly, the Planning Commission has defended the expense.

In its bid to rebuild its old and stinky toilets, the planning commission unwittingly raised a bigger stink. And for once the smooth-talking Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission hasn't exactly emerged smelling of roses.

"When we needed to renovate them, we were told that both the plumbing for the entire toilet was blocked, had to be replaced," said Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Subhash Agarwal, whose RTI query revealed that Rs 35 lakh were spent on the loo-refurbishment is clearly flushed with victory.

Subhash Agarwal said, "That is at a time, when the Prime Minister as the head of the planning commission has started an austerity move."

Yet, why has the issue stirred up so much trouble? Twitter, predictably enough, has many plausible explanations.

ShankkarAiyar, a Delhi-based journalist points the finger at its poverty-line estimates. He tweets that at Rs 28 a day, the 35 lakh could feed 1.25 lakh people.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah posted a tweet saying, "Must remember to ask to use the loo next time I visit the planning commission. Gotta see what all the fuss is about :-))"

But the last word might just as well go to Overrated Outcast who tweets, "This 'Planning Commission Toilets' controversy may be a huge stinker right now, but in a few weeks it'll just be water under the bridge."