Sanitation is India's biggest failure, says Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS): Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Thursday said poor sanitation was the one "significant failure" of Indian society, and linked it to malnutrition among children.

"The sanitation story is unfortunately depressing. At least two-thirds households (in rural areas) are indulging in open defecation," Ramesh said, releasing a report on rural development here.

He said that physical infrastructure in rural areas has seen a significant transformation, but the story was not positive in terms of social infrastructure.

Ramesh observed that the situation with regard to availability of drinking water was better, but quality remained a concern. "The problem is not with availability, but quality of water," he said.

The minister said one factor that has been ignored is the link between malnutrition and open defecation. "Sanitation picture is the single biggest failure not only of the Indian state, but also of Indian society," he said.

Ramesh also said that the divide between rural and urban areas was decreasing. "Rural areas are becoming more and more urban, they retain rural governance, but have urban characteristics. We have no policies to deal with this," the minister said.


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Comment on this article

  • Deepak Adyanthaya, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 27 2013


    Jayaram Ramesh should do something about cleaning up the rivers in the country instead of simply stalling infrastructure projects on grounds of non-compliance with environment norms and thereby turning it into a sick industry. The chairman of the pollution control board in New Delhi said about two years ago that what flows in the Yamuna beyond Delhi is not river water but Delhi's sewage. And today the people are hoping to return Sheila Dikshit to power to create another record of sorts and Jairam is busy talking about open air defecation while turning a blind eye to the fact that India's capital city has majority of its drains emptying untreated sewage into the Yamuna.

    I am hoping like hell that the Sonia brigade returns to power once again and ruins this nation completely. Indians deserve no better. Earlier it was foreign rule by invasion and this time it is going to be foreign misrule through the ballot box.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

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