ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Discrepancies in Sanitation Statistics of Rural India

The inadequate availability of drinking water and proper sanitation, especially in rural India, leads to innumerable deadly diseases, harms the environment, and also affects vulnerable populations, such as persons with disabilities and women, exposing them to sexual violence. Providing access to sanitation facilities in rural areas of India has been on the agenda of the Government of India for the past three decades. However, a reinvigorated thrust to provide adequate sanitation facilities in rural India is the need of the hour, which must be accompanied by constant scrutiny and monitoring, so as to arrive at apt decisions and policies for further action.

Health and Economic Impact of Unsafe Drinking Water

The article is based on a study of the problem of contaminated water supply in Ludhiana. It finds that the incidence of water-related diseases and their economic impact on households is reasonably high. The quality of water was identified as a major problem in all the selected localities of the city. Leaking pipes, water storage and the slow movement of water during transmission and distribution contribute to health problems, especially for the poor.

Revealed Preference for Open Defecation

Despite economic growth, government latrine construction, and increasing recognition among policymakers that open defecation constitutes a health and human capital crisis, it remains stubbornly widespread in rural India. We present evidence from new survey data collected in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Many survey respondents' behaviour reveals a preference for open defecation: over 40% of households with a working latrine have at least one member who defecates in the open. Our data predict that if the government were to build a latrine for every rural household that lacks one, without changing sanitation preferences, most people in our sample in these states would nevertheless defecate in the open. Policymakers in India must lead a large-scale campaign to promote latrine use.

Struggle to Save Nagpur's Water Bodies

Efforts to save Nagpur's decaying water bodies, restore other surface reservoirs and recharge groundwater levels form one of the key initiatives proposed in a draft report for the region as part of the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan commissioned by the ministry of environment and forests.

Was the Indus Waters Treaty in Trouble?

The Indus Treaty between India and Pakistan has acquired a reputation internationally as a successful instance of conflict resolution. It has been working reasonably well despite a difficult political relationship between the two countries and was not abrogated even during periods of war. It appears to have survived the recent crisis as well.

Water Resources, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services

The second biennial conference of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics on the theme of 'Water Resources, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services' brought together researchers and practitioners and gave them an opportunity to present their findings and dialogue on topics that ranged from technical to interdisciplinary.

Sustainable Use of Water for Irrigation in Indian Agriculture

Given the technology and public policy, institutions concerning water use hold the key to raising water productivity by bridging the vast gap that now exists between knowledge and its application. Water institutions are a relatively new and challenging area of interdisciplinary research for social scientists.

Water: Thinking to Good Purpose

Water in Nepal by Dipak Gyawali; Himal Books, Kathmandu, 2001; pp xiv + 280, Rs 550

Crop, Climate and Malaria

The decade of the 1870s was marked across Bengal by drastic rainfall variations, changing crop patterns and a devastating malarial epidemic that depopulated many villages. Though hampered by a paucity of data, this paper relying on contemporary records establishes the link between widespread incidence of malaria to not merely the declining water supply, but the increasing inaccessibility to existing water sources, thanks to the large-scale construction of embankments and the colonial reclamation of land.

Speaking for the Villages

Participatory Watershed Development: Challenges for the 21st Century edited by John Farrington, Cathryn Turton and A J James; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999; Rs 495, pp xviii + 382.

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