Between 2015 and 2017, access to safe drinking water (as a percentage of the population) in the rural areas of Assam, Bihar, J & K, Jharkhand, Punjab, Telangana and West Bengal dropped, according to government data.

As much as 94% of India’s rural population had access to safe drinking water by August 2017.

While 71% rural population was fully covered (more than the norm of 40 litres/capita/day of safe drinking water), 23% was partially covered (less than the norm of 40 litres/capita/day safe drinking water).

Assam had provided 86% of its rural population with safe drinking water in 2017, followed by Punjab (75%), West Bengal (74%) and Tripura (73%).

Punjab saw the steepest decline, from 89.3% in 2015 to 75% in 2017. Tripura increased access from 55% in 2015 to 73% this year.

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Source: Ministry of drinking water and sanitation Note: Data includes both fully covered population (getting more than the norm of 40 litres/capita/day safe drinking water) and partially covered population (getting less than the norm of 40 litres/capita/day safe drinking water). The Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu are not covered under data provided.

(Patil is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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