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Latrines Not As Much A Priority In India’s Slums As Phones, Power

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          Latrines Not As Much A Priority In India's Slums As Phones, Power


Latrines Not As Much A Priority In India’s Slums As Phones, Power

New Delhi: One-third of identified slum households in India do not have latrines, says a report based on the 2011 census but notes that a sizeable percentage of the dwellings have electricity and mobile phone connections and televisions.

The report, released here Thursday by Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Ajay Maken, brings out hitherto unknown data regarding slum households including penetration of computers.

The ‘Report on housing stock, amenities and assets in slums based on house listing and housing census 2011’ says there are 19 cities where more than 25 percent of households live in slums.

Of these, in Visakhapatnam, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Vijayawada and Meerut, more than 40 percent of the people were slum dwellers.

“In all, 1.73 crore census houses have been reported in the house listing blocks categorised as slums in India, comprising 1.37 crore slum households,” says the report.

It says 66 percent households have latrine facility within the premises.

“Every third household (34 percent) has no latrine facility within the premises,” the report says and adds that 18.9 percent slum households defecate in the open and 15.1 percent use public latrines.

The report says 53.2 percent households avail banking service in slums.

It also notes that about 70 percent slum households have television while 18.7 percent possess radio or transistor.

The report says 10.4 percent households have computers/laptops of which 3.3 percent have internet connection (as against 9.3 percent in non-slum areas).

It says 72.7 percent slum households have telephones of which 4.4 percent have land line connections, 63.5 percent have mobiles and 4.8 percent have both.

It says more than 90 percent of slum households use electricity as the main source of lighting, 8.2 percent kerosene while 0.7 percent have other source of lighting and 0.5 percent have no lighting.

The report says 81 percent slum households have bathrooms or enclosures without roof.

It says 74 percent of slum households use tap as the main source of drinking water with about 20 percent using hand pump or tube well.

“Source of drinking water is available to 56.7 percent of households within the premises in slums; 31.9 percent have the sources located within 100 metres and 11.4 percent have to travel more than 100 metres to fetch drinking water,” the report says.

In his speech, Maken said his ministry would frame a ‘Slum Upgradation Index’ for each city and state for monitoring improvement in the condition of slums.

He said a committee would be set-up to suggest the methodology for preparing the index.

Maken said his ministry would not make any distinction between categorisations such as ‘Notified, Recognised and Identified Slums’ in providing financial assistance to states under the Rajiv Awaas Yojana.

He said the slum data would help redraw programmes and fix priorities under various schemes of the ministry.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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