The government today quoted a UN report to say that the sanitary conditions had improved in the country, saving the lives of lakhs of children.
During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, members had asked about the use of soak pits in toilets. One of the members even asked about the poor sanitary conditions finding mention in a UNDP report.
He said the cleanliness levels had shown improvement from 38 per cent to 89 per cent which had led to the saving of lives of as many as three lakh children.
Some of the members also suggested a hike in the funds provided for construction of toilets.
To this, the minister said the Rs 12,000 provided for toilets was to encourage their construction.
He said due to these efforts 421 districts, over 4 lakh villages and 19 states had declared themselves to be open defecation free (ODF).
To another query, Minister of State Arjun Meghwal said according to a report published in 'Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 2018', 16 Indian states were reported to have high concentration of uranium in the groundwater.
These states were Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
The minister said the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had also tested 10,000 samples.
In two per cent of these, the concentration level was above the World Health Organisation standards, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)