BHUBANESWAR:Even as jaundice is spreading to new regions of the State, nearly 80 lakh households in the rural areas do not have toilets in their houses while as many households do not have drinking water connection. The situation in urban areas is similar where outdated pipelines and lack of garbage disposal have led to outbreak of jaundice which the State Government is finding difficult to bring under control.
Official sources said only 1.59 per cent of the households in rural areas have pipe water connections while the figure is less than one per cent in 17 out of 30 districts in the State. As per the 2011 Census, 81.44 lakh households reside in rural areas out of 96.61 lakh households in the State.
Only 1.29 lakh houses have water connections and 32.39 lakh families collect drinking water from the stand-posts in their villages. About 47.75 lakh families do not have drinking water facilities. These include tribal and inaccessible villages in Western and Southern Odisha districts.
Coverage under piped water connectivity is less than one per cent in Sundargarh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Rayagada, Puri, Nuapada, Nayagarh, Koraput, Khurda, Keonjhar, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Boudh, Bhadrak, Bargarh, Balangir and Angul districts.
Similarly, only 10.38 lakh families out of the total 96.62 lakh have toilet facilities as enumerated in 2013 baseline survey. Less than five per cent houses in Kalahandi, Nuapada, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Sundargarh, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Ganjam and Jharsuguda have toilet facilities.
The issue cropped up in the ongoing budget session of the Assembly several times as jaundice has affected more than a thousand people in Sambalpur, Cuttack and other areas.