Berhampur, November 3 (LocalWire): Goutami panchayat in Ganjam district’s Sanakhemundi block has withdrawn its controversial decision to deny National Food Security Act (NFSA) ration to those families who opt for open defecation.
“Our intention is not to deny the ration under the public distribution system to any family.
It’s one of the notices to make cautious the families in the village who have the habit to defecate in open, despite several awareness initiatives,” panchayat sarpanch Sushant Swain said.
He said that the families who were denied ration earlier will get their quota this week.
The ration under the PDS is distributed in the panchayat from the last week of the month to the first week of the next month and the distribution for October would continue till 10 November.
Reports indicate that as many as 24 families were denied ration by the panchayat on grounds that the members of the families allegedly defecate on the roadside.
. The decision was strongly opposed by the campaigners of food to rights, saying it violates one’s constitutional right and the order of the Supreme Court.
Several people including women of the panchayat staged protest in front of the block office on Saturday against the decision.
They withdrew their stir only after the block development officer (BDO) assured that all beneficiaries would get their ration in a week.
“We put up our agitation after BDO assured all beneficiaries will get ration in a week,” said Antaryami Swain, former sarpanch.
According to Sanakhemundi BDO Gayatributta Nayak, he has not received any complaint about the alleged denial of ration by the panchayat.
“Over 400 families of the panchayat are yet to get their ration due to the shortage of rice. They will get these by 10 November,” Nayak said.
The BDO also informed that as many as 180 families do not have any toilets and the panchayat has asked them to construct it in their houses in the next two months.
“The toilets would be constructed soon under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM),” he stated.