Special Correspondent

Strategies must be inclusive: Raghuvansh Prasad Singh

90 % of rural population have access to safe drinking water

MDG in sanitation achieved ahead of schedule

NEW DELHI: Water and sanitation are the core of the development process, which must reach all especially those who traditionally have had no access to the facility, Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Tuesday.

“Our strategies have to be inclusive of the poor and excluded” groups for them to realise the fruits of development.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the “Second International Learning Exchange Programme 2007” organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Rural Development Ministry here.

Mr. Singh said the water and sanitation sector had received increased investment during the 10th Plan period. Today, 90 per cent of the rural population had access to safe drinking water and 48 per cent had toilet and sanitation facilities.

Sanitation coverage increased from one per cent in 1981 to 48 per cent in 2007, making it possible for India to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in sanitation ahead of schedule.

Over 80 delegates from 20 countries including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia and other developing and underdeveloped countries are participating.

They will visit nine States to study the models adopted by India in achieving high water and sanitation coverage.