What Went Into Making This Special Town Kerala's Cleanest

All about Sulthan Bathery

India is famous for its diversity, rich culture, history and heritage but not cleanliness. But there are few cities and towns in India that are known for being clean. One such place is Sulthan Bathery previously known as Ganapathyvattam. It is the largest town in Wayanad district of Kerala and is situated near the borders of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The quaint town of Sultan Bathery is a popular tourist destination owing to its beautiful location, it is visited by tourists all year round. Located at an altitude of 1,000 meters above the sea level, the town of Sultan Bathery boasts of a fantastic topography: majestic hills interspersed with valleys, cliffs and plains. But this article is not about how beautiful the town is but about how beautifully the people are maintaining it. Since last few years it has being awarded 'Kerala's cleanest town' it continues to do so.

How it all started

The streets in this part of the state are lined with potted plants, trees instead of garbage strewn around which is a common sight in this country. But things were not always so spic and span, the entire credit for beautification of Sulthan Bathery's municipal council goes to its previous chairman CK Sahadevan, who had undertaken a lot of path-breaking initiatives to beautify the town and bring about environmental friendly ways to get rid of its waste.

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It all started with clearing waste from all the 13 drains across the town, which had been strewn with garbage for over 30 years. Along with that, knowing the harmful effects of plastic on environment, the council then implemented a widespread ban on plastic.

Beautification and Maintenance

Not just that, to beautify the town the overgrowth of plants and trees along public roads were trimmed and in some cases completely removed. In its place, potted plants were placed in several parts of the town, not only that even trees which are ready to bloom have been planted on the sides of the road. With this initiative, authorities hope it would soon become Kerala's 'Garden City.'

Beautifying is easy but maintenance can be a bit tricky, councilors as well as civic employees were not ready to take any chances, they kept a check round-the-clock to stop miscreants from dumping garbage in public places at night. This even inspired the locals who came forward to support because of which the garbage dumping menace finally ended. In order to maintain the cleanliness, every morning at 4:00 a.m., nine municipal workers in-charge of cleaning Sulthan Bathery, would get to work along with their carts. Not only then even in the afternoon they would repeat the same to dispose any wrapper or leaves that was there, making sure the town was clean at all times.

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No Political Banners

The council even succeeded in taking the unanimous decision in taking off all banners, flags and other display articles related to political meetings or functions within 24 hours after the function has ended.

Visitor's Book at public restrooms

The most interesting initiative is that it is one of the few cities who have even placed an importance to public washrooms and public opinion, by maintaining a victors' book in order to get comments and suggestions from people, helping them to provide better services. It shouldn't come as a surprise that it is usually covered with praises.

Innovative Waste Management

Last and the most important, is their waste management. The council here pays money to the locals to 'buy' garbage from their homes and shops. "This is to convert it into fertilizers and electricity. A waste management plant is now being set up for the purpose. German technology is used in the plant, which will be operational in three months", said TL Sabu, the present municipal chairperson to Manorama.

People friendly

Not only the cleanest place, it’s also a people friendly place too. They have provided a free ride through e-rickshaw, an eco-friendly commute for the differently-abled, the elderly, pregnant women, and nursing mothers living within a 5 km radius of the health center.

Sulthan Bathery is setting a huge benchmark for towns and metropolitan cities across the country. We hope they take a cue from it and too work towards cleanliness and eco-friendly ways to manage waste.

Picture Source : YourStory; The Better India

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