Kerala Cities Score High in Cleanliness and Hygiene

Kerala cities have come up with a strong showing in “Swachh Bharat” rankings with Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram figuring in the top 10. In the ranking for other major cities, Kozhikode comes in fifth. The ranking, based on the extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices, was released by the union Urban Development Ministry last Saturday.

The Swachh Bharat campaign for a cleaner nation is a flagship programme of the Modi government. The survey, conducted by the ministry during 2014-2015, assessed different cities from across the nation on their level of hygiene.

A total of 476 cities from 31 states and union territories were in the survey including six from Kerala. The selected cities each had a population of above one lakh. While Mysuru bagged first place, Kerala cities proved its waste management capabilities by faring well in the survey. Kochi ranked fourth and Thiruvananthapuram eighth in the top 10 list.

Kochi, a city blessed with clean streets (rare in India).
Cochin, a city blessed with clean streets (rare in India).

Other cities in the top 10 list are Thiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), Hassan (Karnataka), Mandya (Karnataka), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Halishar (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim).

Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram made another mark by becoming the second cleanest capital city behind Bengaluru which came in top. According to Thiruvananthapuram Corporation authorities, the city was able to achieve this mainly due to its decentralized waste management programme. In November 2014, the corporation had launched a campaign called ‘My City, Beautiful City’ with focus on the system of decentralized waste management.

Unlike Thiruvananthapuram, the waste management process in Kochi is centralized. Kochi city relies on the Brahmapuram plant which treats around 200 tonnes every day which includes waste from neighbouring municipalities. The opening of a new unit for shredding plastic waste is also underway here.

Students of BEM Higher Secondary School cleaning Mananchira, Kozhikode.
Students of BEM Higher Secondary School cleaning Mananchira, Kozhikode.

In Kozhikode, waste is managed based on a combination of the centralized and decentralized system. According to the corporation, the ‘Clean Kozhikode’ campaign was able to bring about a significant change in the overall hygiene of the city.

It is a matter of great pride to the southern states that 39 cities from the south were included in the top 100, with seven cities in the top ten itself.

According to government release, the list was compiled based on assessment of overall sanitation. The various factors included in the criteria of the survey included solid waste management, treatment of wastewater, quality of drinking water, septage management, mortality rate due to water-borne diseases, quality of surface water in water bodies and the extend of defecation in the open.