India is known for its haphazard waste management skills and disposing of the garbage in an eco-friendly manner. However, gradually the scenario is changing.
Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh has been declared as the cleanest district in the Northeastern region by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. In 2018, the district initiated waste segregation by using biodegradable bags across towns.
Two years back, Gangtok, Aizawl and Imphal were listed as North East India’s first three cleanest cities, a nationwide cleanliness survey by the Union Ministry of Urban Development. The state undertook the ‘Himalayan Cleanup’ drive and collected single-use plastic waste from 89 sites in a single day. Not only this, many villages in Tawang have remained tobacco-free for 35 years.
A massive cleanup drive was organised in 12 hill states across the country on May 26, with armies of volunteers collecting solid waste and depositing them at designated dumps. A total of 245 sites in the 12 states were cleaned by the 'waste warriors' as part of the Himalayan Clean-Up 2018 campaign.
The clean-up focused on plastic waste in line with the objectives of the World Environment Day on June 5, whose theme is 'beat plastic pollution'.
Tawang was also the first Northeastern district to be declared Open Defecation Free (PDF) in 2017. The district has a population of around 50,000 and is the smallest district of Arunachal Pradesh.