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Socio-economic survey paints picture of haves, have-nots in Delhi

In terms of absolute numbers, 1.16 lakh households in the Southeast district do not have access to tap water. Combined data from all districts shows 5.82 lakh households do not have access to tap water on their residential premises.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: September 13, 2020 7:48:22 pm
Water supply by a tanker in the Sanjay camp, Chanakyapuri in New Delhi. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha/ File Photo, June 01, 2018)

A major Delhi government survey of 20.05 lakh households in the national capital has found wide disparities among districts in terms of various socio-economic indicators, including monthly expenditure, access to tap water and computers.

The starkest difference can be seen in access to tap water — only 37.75% people in the Southeast district have access to it in their household premises as opposed to 90% in Shahdara district. The city’s overall average in this aspect is 70.98%, states the report accessed by The Indian Express.

In terms of absolute numbers, 1.16 lakh households in the Southeast district do not have access to tap water. Combined data from all districts shows 5.82 lakh households do not have access to tap water on their residential premises.

A staggering 43.28% out of 1.86 lakh households in the Southeast district depend on bottled water, according to the survey. The city’s overall dependency on bottled water stands at 7.76% (1.55 lakh households), while 1.01 lakh households depend on tankers.

Areas such as Nizamuddin, Lajpat Nagar, Kalkaji, Jamia Nagar and Shaheen Bagh fall under the jurisdiction of the Southeast district.

Also, out of the 20.05 lakh households, 18.7 lakh have toilets, 1.22 lakh depend on community toilets, and 11,497 said they resort to open defecation.

Ensuring round-the-clock potable water supply to all households “within the next five years” was among a key promise made by the AAP-led Arvind Kejriwal government in the run up to the 2020 Delhi Assembly polls. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier said the coverage of piped water in Delhi rose from 58% to 93% under the AAP government.

The door-to-door survey, carried out at a cost of Rs 26.61 crore between November 2018 and November 2019, underlines the challenges in fulfilling that promise. It involved over 6,000 surveyors and a mobile app to capture data from over 1.02 crore people on a scale never attempted before by the state Directorate of Economic and Statistics (DES).

ALSO READ: Over 42% of Delhi spends less than 10k as monthly expense

The previous DES-led socio-economic surveys in Delhi were conducted based on sample surveys designed by the National Statistical Office, Union Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, as per the 2011 population census.

“Recently, it was felt by the Delhi government that the results of sample surveys are not sufficient to depict real-time picture of requirements vis-à-vis availability of infrastructure and social security,” says the report, explaining the shift in the approach.

“The results of the survey may be of immense use to the Delhi government to gauge the future requirements of educational institutions, hospitals, sewage system, transport, etc, in the context of the rapidly increasing population of Delhi. Further, the data obtained may be used to judge the demographic changes on account of migration/immigration of households from/in Delhi,” it adds.

The survey also looked at the situation in every district in terms of distribution of computers in households. It emerged that 15.7 lakh out of 20.05 lakh households surveyed did not own computers or laptops. The number of households not owning computers range between 85.89% in the Northeast district and 70.34% in New Delhi district.

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