While the NSSo’s latest report shows that most Indians now live in pucca houses and have electricity connection, it also paints a bleak picture of sanitation and hygiene conditions in the rural areas. Nearly two-third of dwelling units in villages lack a bathroom and less than half have drinking water facility on the premise.
The 69th round of NSSO shows 66% of rural households had a pucca structure in 2012 compared with 55.4% in 2008-09 and 32% in 1993. On other hand, about 93.6% of urban households had pucca structure in 2012 compared with 73.8% two decades ago.
Also, about 80% households in rural India and 97.9% households in urban India had electricity for domestic use. However, the NSSO report noted that among households having electricity for domestic use, 33.2% in rural India and 63.5% in urban India were using electric wiring of the conduit type.
Rapid growth in the economy at 8% on an average in the last decade had increased incomes and helped Indians improve their dwelling places while the government's drive to expand rural electrification had brought power to most homes. However, the living conditions of an average Indian is yet to improve.
NSSO report shows 52.4% households in rural India used tube well or borehole as principal source of drinking water, followed by 14.3% households having public taps or standpipe as their principal source of drinking water. In urban India, 35.1% households used piped water into dwelling as principal source of drinking water followed by 21.2% households having piped water to yard/plot as their principal source of drinking water.
However, only 46.1% households in rural India and 76.8% households in urban India got drinking water within the premises. For those who did not have a proper supply of drinking water, NSSO said "the average travelling time spent by a person in a day to fetch drinking water from outside the household premises was 20 minutes in rural India and 15 minutes in urban India."
The number of households without a bathroom facility was 62.3% in rural India in 2012 compared with 76% in 2002 and 87% in 1992. In urban areas, the number of households without a bathroom was 16.7% in 2012 as compared with 46.5% two decades ago.