Census 2011: After 10 years, Bimarou states still miss the bus


New Delhi, April 11, 2012: Even after 10 years of growth, India’s Bimarou states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh) continue to underperform other states.

The data showed Bimarou states, so called for their lag in development, underperformed national averages on most socio-economic parameters, such as access to tap water, electricity, toilets, and banking services. In some cases, however, their growth percentages surpassed national growth. But these states failed to introduce any substantial change in ground realities, owing to a very low base, which was also responsible for sharp percentage increases in most cases.

Access to tap water
In 2011, Bihar, much publicised for the development it has seen in recent years, managed to ensure only 4.4 per cent of its households secured access to tap water, an increase of just 0.7 percentage points in 10 years (2001 to 2011). In Bihar, the percentage increase over 2001, despite a very low base, was lower than the national increase. In the same period, the national average rose from 36.7 to 43.5.

The case of Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh was no different. In these states, the percentage of households with access to tap water was lower than the national average. Also, in these states, the percentage increase, compared to 2001, was lower than the average national increase.

Interestingly, many states showed considerable improvement in ensuring more of their citizens had access to tap water. Punjab, where the numbers were below the national average in 2001, saw the number of such households rise from 33.61 per cent in 2001 to 51 per cent in 2011. Improvements were also recorded by Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana.

Access to toilets
While the issue of more than half the country’s population not having access to toilets was much debated, 65 per cent of the households in five states were yet to use a toilet. These were Orissa (78 per cent of households without toilets), Bihar (76.9 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (71.2 per cent), Rajasthan (65 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (64.4 per cent). The list of states that fared poorly remained unchanged since 2001.

The rates at which these states provided toilets to their citizens were also lower than the national average. While at the national level, the number of households with toilets rose 16.5 per cent between 2001 and 2011, in Bihar it rose only 4.8 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 6.12 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 6.3 per cent, Orissa 8.3 per cent and Rajasthan 8.4 per cent.

Access to electricity
Access to electricity, essential to the growth of any state, remained below the national average in all Bimarou states. Bihar had the least number of households with access to electricity, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Orissa.

In Bihar, the number of such households rose from 10.3 per cent in 2001 to 16.4 per cent in 2011. Nationally, it increased from 55.8 per cent in 2001 to 67.3 per cent in 2011. Among Bimarou states, Rajasthan fared much better than other states. The state saw the percentage of households with access to electricity rise from 54.7 per cent in 2001 to 67 per cent in 2011. Read More

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