This small town in Kerala is showing how to keep public spaces clean


The civic administration of Sulthan Bathery in Kerala wants to make it the cleanest town in the state. Roads are cleaned spotless and citizens sell their garbage to the municipality to make fertiliser. 

In lush Wayanad, the town of Suthan Bathery is credited with being ‘Kerala’s cleanest town’. This feat is due to the untiring efforts of the town Municipal Council’s former Chairman C.K. Sahadevan.

Sahadevan introduced a series of initiatives in the hill town to tackle the waste problem, clean the town, and then keep it clean.

Potted plants in the of Sulthan Bathery, source The Better India

Helping him in his initiative were the residents of Suthan Bathery, who helped the civic administration in all its efforts.

The beginning

A few years ago, Sahadevan launched a cleaning drive to manage the garbage scenario in town. It was followed up with larger tasks, like cleaning up 13 drains in the town and clearing garbage which had not been taken up for almost three decades.

Also, the use of plastic was banned, and roadsides were cleared off of weeds, reports Manorama on the drive to clean and beautify the town.

Soon, citizens along with officials began to make sure none dumped garbage in public spaces.

The impact

Every day at four in the morning, nine cleaners from the civic body set out to clean the streets, they finish this task in three hours as part of their first shift. they come back in the second shift in the afternoon to clean up again to ensure the streets and public spaces are spotless at all times.

Civic officials have also put up potted flowering plants around the city, and claim that in a few years, Sultan Bathery will become the ‘garden city’ of the state, The Better India reported.

The town’s public washroom also maintains a visitor’s book, an initiative that has found widespread support and praise not only from within the town but also outside.

Revenue from the garbage

Cleaning up public spaces is one aspect, but maintaining a high level of cleanliness is another task altogether. To ensure people do not dump garbage in the open, the civic administration has launched a drive to buy it from citizens.

The refuse is converted into fertilizer and used to generate electricity. In another three months, a waste management plant will come up.

Lastly, to keep up the visual appeal of the town, any banners, posters, flags and other display items that go with any political event are removed within 24 hours after the event.


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