India has more mobile phones than toilets: UN report

20.04.2010 15:23
India has more mobile phones than toilets: UN report - Asia - society - India - UN


Far more people in India have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet, according to a UN study on sanitation.



India's mobile subscribers totalled 563.73 million at the last count, enough to serve nearly half of the country's 1.2 billion population, Telegraph reported.

But just 366 million people - around a third of the population - had access to proper sanitation in 2008, said the study published by the United Nations University, a UN think-tank.

"It is a tragic irony to think in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones," so many people "cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet," said Zafar Adeel, the UN University director.

Mr Adeel heads the UN University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health, based in the Canadian city of Hamilton, which prepared the report.

Worldwide, an estimated $358 billion (£230 billion) is needed between now and 2015 to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people with inadequate sanitation from 2000 levels.


[Source: Telegraph]



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