NSSO Reports on Swachhata Status in India

There have been some recent reports in certain sections of the media which have misquoted and drawn wrong conclusions from the Swachhta Status Report of the Rapid Survey of Swachhta Status which was undertaken alongwith the 72nd Round of the NSSO. The conclusions drawn in these media reports are not only factually incorrect but are also inappropriately interpreted. It is therefore necessary that the factual position and the correct interpretations are brought to the notice of all stakeholders.

The following are some clarifications for the reference of all concerned:

(1)   The Survey period for the Rapid Survey of Swachhta Status was May-June 2015, and hence all the findings of the Swachhta Status Report, including the rural sanitation coverage of 45.3% refer to the period upto June 2015 only, which means the results are nearly two years old, and only nine months into the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

(2)   The Survey does not give any information on the number of toilets built by Government under SBM.

(3)   The Survey gives information on, (i) % of households having toilets; and (ii) the % of households having access to water for use in toilets (in households having toilets).  The results show that out of all households which have toilets, 93.9% in rural areas and 99% in urban areas have access to water in these toilets.

(4)   In para of the report, the following has been stated:

“In rural India, 42.5% households were found to have access to water for use in toilet.”

In some articles, this has been interpreted to mean that out of the households that have toilets only 42.5% have access to water. Such an interpretation is incorrect.

It may be correctly interpreted as out of all households in rural areas, 42.5% have access to water in toilets. If one were to consider only those households that have toilets, the percentage of the households having access to water is 93.9% for rural areas and 99% for urban areas.

(5)   The report talks about drainage of household waste water, which includes domestic waste water from kitchen etc., and does not include waste water from toilets.

It is advisable that all users go through the Swachh Status Report in detail, including the Appendices, particularly on ‘Concepts and Definitions’, for a complete understanding of the findings.

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