More than 42,000 government schools in India do not have drinking water facilities, while more than 15,000 schools have no toilets, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The minister quoted the statistics from Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) in response to a question in the Upper House of the Parliament.
“As per UDISE, 2018-19, out of 10,83,747 total number of government schools in the country, 10,41,327 government schools have drinking water facility and 10,68,726 government schools have toilets,” he said in his written reply.
“States and UTs have been repeatedly advised to ensure that all the schools, including those under the non-government sector (private, aided schools, etc.) in their jurisdiction should have provision for separate toilets for boys and girls and safe and adequate drinking water facilities for all children,” the minister added.
According to a report by The Hindu, only half of government schools and anganwadis have tap water supply.
The report further states that less than 8 percent of schools in Uttar Pradesh and 11 percent in West Bengal have it, while it is available in only 2-6 percent of anganwadis in Assam, Jharkhand, UP, Chhattisgarh and Bengal.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, announced that the Jal Jeevan Mission (urban) will be launched with an aim to provide tap water connections to 2.86 crore households. The ambitious mission will be implemented over five years with an outlay of Rs 2,87,000 crore. “The Jal Jeevan Mission (urban) will be launched. It aims at universal water supply in all 4,378 Urban Local Bodies with 2.86 crore household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities.
“It will be implemented over five years, with an outlay of 2,87,000 crores,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech.
Launched in 2019, Jal Jeevan Mission (rural) aims to provide tap water connections to rural households by 2024. Three crore tap water connections have been provided under this so far.