How From A Town That Was Covered In Filth, Alappuzha Became One Of India’s Cleanest Cities
About five years ago, Alappuzha, a coastal tourist town in Kerala was covered in heaps of filth at every corner.
It was almost impossible for locals to walk without covering their faces as the stench from the garbage would make life in this town miserable. In 2012, locals started protesting against the mountains of garbage that were present in the city, leaving the authorities to finally find a solution to all this problem.
Current Finance Minister, Thomas Isaac was the MLA back then and he decided to frame a blueprint for a decentralized programme through which households could treat biodegradable domestic waste in their own backyards.
The campaign came to be known as ‘Nirmala Bhavanam, Nirmala Nagaram’ (Clean House, Clean City) and it has given the city a complete makeover. The houses were going green which led to the decreased workload for the Municipality. Things changed so drastically that Alappuzha that was once covered in garbage got awarded as the ‘cleanest city in the country’ by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2016.
Adding another feather to the hat, Alappuzha was also picked by the United Nations as one of the cities among five global destinations to successfully and sustainably manage solid waste.
The question that arises is, HOW DID ALAPPUZHA MANAGE TO DO THIS?
The authorities selected 12 densely populated wards and set up organic compost units. A strong awareness campaign was carried out from door-to-door that educated people about waste management and urged them to segregate dry waste from wet waste. Coupons were given to children upon collecting plastic through which they could buy books.
Locals started using biogas and showed participation in keeping their city clean. Once the authorities noticed that their plan was working well, they implemented the same in all the 52 wards. Aerobic community compost units were set up and people were motivated to ensure that their waste was being managed in such a way that it does not harm the environment.
The city witnesses a large number of foreign tourists who now do not complain about it being dirty. The sanitation workers now feel proud of their job and are more confident.
One initiative and support of the locals have changed the entire image of this city and it is definitely something we should learn from Alappuzha.
What do you think about this wonderful initiative? Share your views with us in the comment section!
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