New data on the status of drinking water and sanitation released by the National Sample Survey Organisation on Tuesday indicated a far better state of affairs than that detailed in the 2011 Census. Conducted just a year after the Census, the 69th round of the National Sample Survey found significantly better levels of access to drinking water and toilets.

Over 46 per cent of households in rural India and 77 per cent of households in urban India had drinking water sources within their premises, the NSSO report said. Census data had found that just 35 per cent of rural households and 71per cent of urban households had drinking water within the premises. Over 80 per cent of both rural and urban households reported having sufficient drinking water, according to the NSSO.

Among households in which people had to leave the house to get water, rural population had to spend 20 minutes on average, while for urban households, it took 15 minutes. Residents of Jharkhand had to spend the longest time in fetching water — 40 minutes — in both rural and urban areas. Moreover, households reported significant waiting time at the source of water — 15 minutes in rural areas and 16 minutes in urban areas, on average, of waiting in a queue.

Over half of urban households and a third of rural households reported treating their own water. Among rural areas, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand reported the highest proportion of households getting water daily and Bihar the lowest.

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