THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: How much dearer the petrol or diesel may cost in the near future, the islanders have no worry about the mode of transport in their land for majority of them own a bicycle. 84.3 per cent of the households in Lakshadweep, the archipelago consisting of 12 atolls, own a bicycle, according to the 2011 census, the highest percentage in the country.
This was in the Census conducted in 10,073 households whereas, it was 83.3 per cent in 2001 when the number of households was 9,240. They are far ahead of the the neighbours on the main land Kerala, which also showed an increase from 18.5 to 20.4 percentage.
The percentage of scooter, motorcycle and moped owners in the island has shown a growth in the last decade from 21.1 to 38.4.
But when it comes to the owners of car, jeep or van, it is more than double from 2001, in the list but still only 2.3 per cent.
99.7 per cent of the houses in the island have electricity for lighting, another first in the country, while a mere 0.2 percent use kerosene for the purpose.
Regarding water supply, 77.1 per cent of the households use wells while 20.93 per cent use taps. Ten years back, it was 93.4 and 3.1 respectively.
In the number of telephone connections also Lakshadweep is placed first in the country in terms of percentage. 93.6 per cent of the households have telephone connection.
In the number of rural households also Lakshadweep ranks first with 93.2 percent. But in the number of urban households, it stands second with 93.8 per cent to Andaman and Nicobar islands (94.4).
But the island stands third from the bottom in the country regarding computers with internet connection in the urban area. Only 3.6 percent has this facility. Though it is poorer (1.1 per cent) in the rural area, it is still better positioned than Tamil Nadu (1.0 pc), Karnataka(0.7 pc) and Gujarat (0.5 pc).
In a single decade, the number of radios and transistors dropped from 69.8 per cent to 20.2 percent. On the other hand, the number of television sets jumped from 33.4 per cent to 64 per cent.
In the 2011 census, 16 per cent of the 21,242 households lay vacant in the island. This recorded an increase from 14.8 percent of the 16,607 houses in 2001.