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| Last Updated:15/01/2014

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Rajasthan touches rock bottom in drinking water, sanitation facilities

Saurabh Sharma, TNN, 13 January, 2014


JAIPUR: Poor drinking water facilities, debilitating drainage system and crippling sanitation are the hallmarks of Rajasthan, says the latest survey. The 69th report of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) ranked Rajasthan among bottom five states for having least access to drinking water and toilets in rural areas. The report also says that only 28% in rural and 61% in urban areas have proper arrangement for garbage disposal.


Released on December 2013, the report covers the data collected from July to December 2012. In drinking water facility, only 791 per 1,000 households in rural Rajasthan have access to improved sources of drinking water while just 747 households receive sufficient drinking water throughout the year. The state is placed at the bottom 4th and 7th position in both categories respectively.


In urban areas, 928 households per thousand have access to drinking water from improved sources but only 814 get it throughout the year. Improved source of drinking water means pipe water reaching the house or sourced from a protected well and spring.


Asked about the quality of water in survey, 80% in rural parts claimed to get good quality water. In this category, the state's performance is just better than Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir and ranked at third from last. The situation is somewhat better in urban areas where 87% people responded in affirmation of getting good quality drinking water.


Among other information on drinking water, it emerged that in parts of rural Rajasthan, only 39% households have drinking water facilities within premises. Nearly 32% families travel half-a-kilometre daily to fetch drinking water.


The situation is almost same as far as 'bathroom and sanitation facilities' in rural areas are concerned. Out of thousand households surveyed, only 42% were found with bathroom facility. In urban Rajasthan, nearly 86% have such facilities. However, 73% people have no access to toilets in rural areas. Only Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, MP and UP are having worst figures than Rajasthan.


In this survey, 'access to latrine' was defined in relation to the latrine that could be used by majority of the household members, irrespective of whether it was being used or not. Access to toilets was highlighted as among the prime reason for health and hygiene of the community and surroundings. Among drainage facility, only 222 per 1000 households in rural and 796 in urban Rajasthan recorded improved drainage facility.


The only facing saving area for the state was in the power sector where 98% urban and 83% rural areas have access to electricity for domestic use. Other areas where state performed fairly well was in accommodation (owned dwelling) through lease or otherwise. Around 96.5% in urban and 76.2 in rural Rajasthan lives in a house with 'pucca' structure.