Gangtok: Gangtok, the capital of the northeastern state of Sikkim, has been named as the cleanest city in Northeast India.
With the city maintaining a fine balance between its natural beauty and urban planning, Gangtok also figured among the top 10 in India, in the latest rankings under the cleanliness survey.
The organic farming and the modern technology enabling easy dumping of garbage, recycling of waste among others, made Gangtok to achieve the tag of a clean city.
In addition to that, Gangtok was ranked eighth in the Swachh Sarvekshan-2016 in terms of sanitation and hygiene.
"Now, we are at number 8, last year we were at 16th position; we plan to reach the top slot next year. To accomplish that we are planning to ban Styrofoam through pollution control department. Secondly, we are planning for zero waste initiative where the garbage will either be recycled or dumped at the ward itself," said Sakti Singh, Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation
The government of India commissioned a survey to study the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission and rank 73 cities on sanitation and cleanliness.
The survey, the first for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India Mission, was conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI) and was named Swachh Sarvekshan.
On February 15, the government released a list of 73 cities with Gangtok in Sikkim holding the 8th position in a pan India ranking.
"There will be no water-borne diseases and the breeding of mosquitoes will be under check. This is the major reason why we are working on this. Also, plastic is banned in Sikkim, the government brought the notification in this regard and we are working for its implementation. Sikkim got the cleanest hill station award from our honourable Prime Minister. A lot of tourists are also coming here due to this," said C.P. Dhakal, Chairman, Gangtok Municipal Corporation.
Sikkim has converted around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation, thus making it a fully organic state.
Last month, during his visit to the state, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Sikkim Organic Festival 2016 and lauded the state's efforts.
Nestled in the green mountains and forests, India's northeast region holds a huge treasure of natural beauty. However, growing urbanisation has led to a tug of war between maintaining clean environment and development projects.
(With ANI inputs)