Census Reveals Backwardness Of JK

Census Reveals Backwardness Of JK

28 March 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Almost half of Jammu and Kashmir’s 1.25 crore households don’t have access to toilets and only 34 per cent of the total population have access to safe drinking water, according to the census report released here Wednesday. The report depicts a bleak picture of basic amenities, tourism infrastructure and healthcare system in the state. It also reveals that J&K lags behind the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh on developmental front, be it tourism, education, industrialization, rural or urban sanitation. The figures on housing and household amenities were released by Joint Chief Principal Census Officer, C S Sapru during a media briefing. There is no latrine facility for 9, 83,791 (half of the population of J&K) and while 63.9 per cent households have access to tap water, only 34.5 per cent get clean or treated drinking water. “34.5 per cent drink water from treated source, 29.2 per cent get water from un-treated source, 6.7 per cent households drink water from river canals, 11.4 drink water from hand pumps and 1.5 per cent drink water from tube wells,” the data reveals. Ironically, despite the huge tourist and pilgrim influx, J&K has only 7473 hotels, lodges and guest houses. Furthermore, for the population of 1.25 crore, there are just 6,278 hospitals and dispensaries. The census report also talks about the poor drainage facilities as only 7,10,753 households have no drainage facility. The census also depicts a dismal picture of the housing standards in the state. “Half of the population (10,90,386 households) are living in good houses while 8,46,388 households have livable houses. 78,314 households still have dilapidated houses,” the census states, adding that the mud and grass-type roof tops have been fast replaced with concrete materials like cement, bricks and sand. Importantly, there is no exclusive room for 70,047 households. “4,48,767 households live in a single room, while 5, 55,267 live in two rooms. 4,33,956 households have three-room houses while 2,61,863 households live in four rooms. 93,860 live in five rooms while 1,51,328 have six rooms and above.” The total number of households in J&K are 26,63,460. The number of households in 2001 was 20,31,568 which means more than six lakh houses have either been constructed or families have been divided. The census has also revealed that the joint family structure is giving way to nuclear households with a huge chunk of population preferring to live separately-husband, wife and children. As per the data, there are 3,39,197 shops and offices in J&K while the number of schools and colleges is 31,843 against the figure of 19,378 in 2001. On the development front especially tourism, J&K lags far behind to Himachal Pradesh. Surprisingly, in Himachal, the percentage of tourism infrastructure is 0.3 against 0.2 in J&K. “Himachal has more schools and colleges with the percentage of 1.1 against 0.3 in J&K. Himachal also leads in health care system with 0.3 per cent against 0.2 in J&K,” the data reveals. Interestingly, more than three lakh houses or structures, a property worth 90,000 crores, are lying vacant in the State. 1,11,974 houses are vacant in urban Jammu and Kashmir (Srinagar and Jammu) alone. Regarding usage of fuel, 11,87,122 households use fire wood while 84, 509 use cow dung. “25,683 use kerosene while 6, 35,867 use LPG. 6,956 households use electricity as means of fuel.”