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Despite development, basic issues remain

For a Capital with a history of thousand years, a decade may just be a patch in time. And development does tend to take its own time.

delhi Updated: May 08, 2012 00:54 IST
Rajat Arora

For a Capital with a history of thousand years, a decade may just be a patch in time. And development does tend to take its own time. The report brought out by the Census of India on houses, household amenities and assets shows the speed at which Delhi has moved forward in 10 years. But there's one glitch: The city's basic problems remain unchanged.


And though the Capital's rural areas shrank to roughly 79,000 households from 1.69 lakh in 2001, 10 per cent of the total households still have no access to toilets. Ironically, several crores were spent on building plush toilet complexes during the Commonwealth Games of 2010. The situation is worse in rural areas where 23.7 per cent of households have no toilets. Though the number has come down drastically, a lot still remains to be done.

Only 59 per cent toilets in the city have the facility of piped sewage. Sewage from rest of the toilet flows into open drains, which encourages manual scavenging. "The percentage of manual scavenging is low but there are parts of northeast Delhi where human faeces are still removed manually," said Varsha Joshi, director of census operations.

The city still struggles to provide clean drinking water to over seven lakh households. "Around 6 per cent of households get untreated tap water. But the use of hand pumps has gone down drastically. Many more households now get tap water," Joshi said.

In northwest Delhi and some parts of the city, around 25 per cent of households don't have drinking facility and people have to fetch water from the nearest municipal water connection. "Around 5 per cent homes get water from other sources such as water tankers," Joshi added.

But the silver lining on this dark cloud is that Delhi has been seen rapid electrification in the past 10 years. Almost all households in Delhi have electricity. The number was 92 per cent in 2001.