New Delhi, August 9: Northeastern states topped the survey which showed that around 95% rural households had access to a toilet. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on Tuesday released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households, undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June this year.
While on another hand Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha have the highest proportion of rural households whose members continue to defecate in the open despite toilets at home, according to the survey.
The survey, covering 4626 villages across all States and Union territories, claimed that 62.45% of the households had access to a toilet. The survey also pointed that 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it, indicating a change in sanitation behaviour.
Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets. And so were the Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.
Bihar had the lowest coverage with only 30% of households having toilets, of which around 13 % were not using them, according to the survey. Jharkhand, where 37% homes had toilets, was at the bottom in using such facilities with around a third preferring to relieve them in the open. In Odisha, only 40% of households had toilets and 20% of these families were not found using the facilities.
In Bengal, 76% households have toilets at home and 6 per cent did not use them. Gujarat fared better in terms of rural sanitation as 85% of rural households had access to toilets.
Apart from Kerala, Tamil Nadu was the other performer as 79% rural households had access to a toilet. However, neighbouring Puducherry scored poorly with just 43%. Also to mark 70th Independence Day, the Ministry has drawn up a plan to celebrate a “Freedom from Open Defecation Week.”