No latrines and drinking water for more than half of India, finds survey

Published: Wednesday 25 December 2013

More than half of rural households in India don’t have toilet infrastructure and drinking water facilities within their homes, according to latest statistics released by the government.

Residents of nearly 59.4 per cent of the country’s rural homes defecate in the open, says the report. Jharkhand and Odisha fare the poorest with a corresponding figure of 90.5 per cent and 81.3 per cent.

The data was collected between July 2012 and December 2012 during the 69th round survey of the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) that is managed by the ministry of statistics.

The findings further re-inforce the Census 2011 figure which had brought to fore the abysmal condition of sanitation in the country. The census figure reflected 31 per cent of rural area with sanitation facilities whereas ministry of drinking water and sanitation (MDWS) data showed the same facilities for in more than 68 per cent of rural India. Even 65th round of NSSO findings, conducted in 2008, showed that only 34.8 per cent area has the sanitation facilities—a figure similar to that given by Census 2011.

When it comes to urban India, Bihar and Chhattisgarh are ranked at the bottom with nearly 20.8 per cent and 24.9 per cent of the households in these states having no toilet facilities at home. Of the 40.6 per cent of the rural households in India that have access to latrines, only a third have one for their exclusive use.

Check out the graph which shows how many households per every 1,000 in rural and urban parts of states do not have latrine facility

According to the statistics, about 62.3 per cent of rural households and 16.7 per cent of urban households do not have bathroom facilities. At 89.4 per cent, Jharkhand has the highest percentage of rural households without a bathroom facility, followed by Tripura at 89.7 per cent, Odisha at 88.2 per cent, Chhattisgarh at 84.9 per cent and Bihar at 81.9 per cent.

Households per every 1,000 without bathroom facility across states in India

Electricity for domestic use

Nearly 80 per cent of the country’s rural households and 97.9 per cent urban households have electricity for domestic use. Rural households of Bihar (46.7 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (55.7 per cent) and Jharkhand (62.6 per cent) are much below the national average, while all urban households of Goa, Delhi, Mizoram, Sikkim, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep have electricity for domestic use.

Households per every 1,000 which have electricity

Drinking water

Nearly 88.5 per cent households in rural India have improved source of drinking water while the corresponding figure for urban India stands at 95.3 per cent. In Kerala, only 29.5 per cent of the rural households have improved source of drinking water. In urban areas also, Kerala, at 56.8 per cent, has been ranked poor. All households in Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Island and Chandigarh have improved source of drinking water in urban areas.

Among rural households, 85.8 per cent have sufficient drinking water, while in urban India the corresponding figure is 89.6 per cent. Jharkhand and Delhi both provide sufficient drinking water facility to only 70 per cent of its rural population. Lakshadweep and Puduchery provide 100 per cent coverage to its rural population. Nagaland stood at the bottom of the list in both urban and rural areas when it comes to providing sufficient drinking water throughout the year.

Check out how many households in every 1,000 do not have drinking water available throughout the year

On drinking water, the NSSO collected information based on factors like sources and sufficiency of drinking water, distance to the source of drinking water and quality of drinking water.

Drainage and Garbage disposal facility

Nearly 31.7 per cent of rural households and 82.5 per cent of urban households reported improved drainage facility in and around their dwelling units. Most northeastern states reported poor drainage facility in rural areas. Rural households of Tripura (1.2 per cent) and Assam (4 per cent) stood at the bottom of the list when it comes to reporting improvement in drainage facilities.

In rural India, 32 per cent households have garbage disposal arrangement, whereas in urban areas the corresponding figure is 75.8 per cent. Kerala is among the poor performing states in providing garbage disposal facility in urban areas. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Tripura stand far below the national average in urban areas.


More than 94 per cent households in rural India have secured tenure in their dwelling. In urban India, the corresponding figure is 71.3 per cent.

Nearly 65.8 per cent of rural households and 93.6 per cent of urban households live in a house with pucca structure whereas 24.6 per cent of rural households and five per cent of urban households live in a house with semi-pucca structure.ÔÇ¿Only 26.3 per cent and 47.1 per cent households in rural India and urban India respectively have dwelling units with good ventilation.

At the all-India level, 70.8 per cent of households cited better accommodation as the main reason for thinking of moving out of slum/squatter settlement, whereas 11.7 per cent households identified proximity to place of work as the main reason.

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