Puducherry: In yet another dictatorial order, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday announced that the supply of free rice to villages in Puducherry will be suspended if the villages are not open defecation free and garbage-free.
Under the scheme free rice reaches out to more than half of the population primarily in rural areas in the Union Territory.
Bedi, according to a report in The Indian Express said that the distribution will be made only after the MLA of the constituency and the Commissioner of the commune panchayat concerned jointly give a certification that the villages are clean.
In a letter to Chief Minister, V Narayanasamy, Bedi said, "The rice distribution shall be made conditional to the certification that the village is open defecation free and free of strewn garbage and plastics.
She said, she was anguished to see the slow pace of rural sanitation despite the efforts made to transform the villages under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The LG has also issued directions to the Director of Civil Supplies regarding the matter. She has also issued a deadline of four weeks till May 30, 2018 for the villages to be made clean.
Earlier, last week, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had charged Bedi with putting several obstacles in the implementation of welfare schemes.
Talking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the Lt Governor wanted the government to go for direct benefit transfer scheme instead of supplying rice to card-holders and deposit the cash equivalent in bank accounts of beneficiaries.
However, Bedi rejected the harge, saying as an UT Administrator she works for "people and not for vested interests.
Bedi, who assumed office in May 2016, has been asserting that being the administrator of the UT, she had the powers over administrative matters.
Linked Free Rice distribution to respective constituency MLAs & Commune Commisioners Certifying villages open defecation free and of strewn garbage and plastic.— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) April 28, 2018
Free Rice reaches out to more than half d population primarily in rural areas
This is d learning of morning round today pic.twitter.com/CCIaVAGdDT