The Cleanest City in India: Alappuzha

Although recently, the central government published a list on the most pristine cities in the country, this time, there is a new contender for the cleanest city in India: Alappuzha.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, or the Clean India Mission convenes every year to choose the cleanest and dirtiest cities in India. This year, they gave out a list naming Mysuru (Karnataka,) Chandigarh and Tiruchirapalli (both in Tamil Nadu) as the most pristine cities. Although last year’s survey was done with almost 500 cities, this year, they stuck to a total of 73, in order to avoid unfair comparisons. The ranks were given regarding a number of things, such as solid waste-, septage-, waste water management, the quality of drinking water and the number of fatal incidents due to water-borne illnesses.

The Amazing Backwaters. Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar

The new survey, conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi says that in reality, India’s cleanest city is Alappuzha in Kerala, followed by Panaji (in Goa) and Mysuru. The methodology that the CSE used involved nominations from different environmentalists and locals. They pinpointed cities in India that they thought managed garbage disposal well. The CSE then visited the cities to check out the situation for themselves.
So why did they choose these three cities? Well, Alappuzha is a favoured tourist destination because of its attractive natural features, such as canals, amazing backwaters and beaches and lagoons that take your breath away. It is due to these wonders that contesters of the Rickshaw Challenge usually stop here; this city is definitely worth checking out. In the recent years, Alappuzha managed to up its waste segregation to a hundred percent in more than half of the cities’ wards and almost 80% of its households use composting systems and bio-gas as a means of generating power.
Panaji is a charming city – and tourists think so, too. It is due to the vast amount of travellers that waste management became somewhat of a challenge more than ten years ago. In response, the city came up with a program to solve the issue, mostly focusing on Municipal Solid Waste. During this initiative, all bins were disposed of, and waste was collected by a system that sent trash men from door to door. They also came up with a colour-coded waste segregation system which has proven to be highly effective over the years.
Charming Little Thing. Photo Credit: Ramnath Bhat
Charming Little City. Photo Credit: Ramnath Bhat

The problems of the third cleanest city according to the CSE, Mysuru, came with the rise of the population. After realizing that a staggering amount of waste was generated by the increasing numbers of citizens, the municipality quickly laid out a plan to manage waste effectively and in a manner that was environmentally friendly. They too started the conversion to door-to-door collection of waste and came up with an effective way to recycle garbage.
The Clean Mysuru. Photo Credit: Vasanth Mohan
The Clean Mysuru. Photo Credit: Vasanth Mohan

The waste management plans of these cities are an example worth following, especially with the ever-growing population and the fact that, well, tourists cannot get enough of India and just keep travelling there.

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