The reach of television has deepened over the 1990s, with the percentage of rural households with a TV set going up from 13 per cent in 1993 to 26 per cent in 2002, says a National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) survey.
In urban areas, the reach was better. Urban ownership of TV sets went up from 49 per cent in 1993 to 66 per cent in 2002. Of the total, 41 per cent had cable facility. In rural areas, only 10 per cent of the TV set-owning households had cable facility.
Radio/tape recorder ownership, however, went down as income levels rose.
The results are based on a nation wide survey of housing conditions during July-December 2002. The sample included 97,882 households spread over 4,769 villages and 3,538 urban blocks in the country.
The information collected was regarding the conditions of dwellings, the amenities available, residential constructions undertaken in the recent past, and rents paid.
Despite the telecom “boom”, only about 5.3 per cent of rural households had fixed telephone lines, and only 0.9 per cent had cell phones in 2002.
The construction “boom” decreased the number of households in hired accommodation from 36 per cent in 1993 to 34.7 per cent in 2002. The monthly average rent paid by urban dwellers was Rs 673, with about 50 per cent paying less than Rs 200. The highest income class covered in the survey paid a rent of Rs 1584 a month.
In urban areas, almost 80 per cent of the tenants had moved into their present houses in 1995 or later, while only 5 per cent had moved in before 1980, the survey found. The percentage of urban households owning air coolers was up from 8 in 1993 to 15 in 2002.
The ownership of refrigerators was up from 15 per cent to 28 per cent during the same period.
Forty-eight per cent of households in both rural and urban areas possessed bicycles. For mopeds and scooters, the figure came down sharply to 7 per cent in case of rural households, and 24 per cent for urban households.
Around 4.4 per cent urban households owned cars and jeeps, compared with 0.6 per cent of rural households.
In urban areas, almost 11 per cent of households with a monthly per capita expenditure between Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,925, which translated into a monthly income of around Rs 10,000, owned cars.