With a very high percentage of population in Odisha still away from safe water and sanitation, the State government needs to reset its priorities, opined experts here on Tuesday.

The Millennium Development Goal Report 2012 says more than 75 per cent people in rural Odisha are still defecating in open which supports findings of Census 2011, said members of WaterAid India– an international advocacy group.

Experts were sharing their findings at a regional perspective building workshop for media.

“There are still habitations, which have in-equal distribution of water sources. Even if there are water sources, many of them are having various quality related issues starting from bacteriological contamination to chemical contaminations like iron, fluoride and salinity,” said Bikash Kumar Pati of WaterAid.

Observing that operation and maintenance of drinking water sources is another area of concern, Mr. Pati said, “depleting ground water table and occurrence of disasters like flood and drought has further aggravated the issue.”

Earlier Bishakha Bhanja, Regional Manager of WaterAid India said health impacts of unsafe water and sanitation practices was a major hindrance to the human development. She said the issue should be main-streamed.