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A premium for cleanliness

Clean localities usually conjure up visions of upscale city areas — Lutyens’ Delhi, Marine Drive in Mumbai, Lavelle Road in Bangalore, and so on — where the crème de la crème would wish to reside. Such localities attract a premium not just for location and quality of neighbours, but also for the cleanliness quotient. In this context, the recently released Swachh City survey should have positive rub off on the cleanest Indian cities.

Mysuru in Karnataka tops the list, followed by Chandigarh. Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh are the other top rankers; none of which are big surprises. There is a distinct possibility, that, with time, the race for cleanliness will heat up and the leaders, to defend their positions, will up the ante. This can add a new dimension in realty values — cleanliness premium. It could also draw outsiders to consider abodes in these cleaner cities.

Don’t be surprised if people start flocking to some of them in their sunset years in search of cleaner pastures. Of course, that cannot be the only motivation to move. New Delhi, for instance, will hardly attract migrants only with its cleanliness quotient. What’s surprising, though, is that Greater Mumbai with all its garbage piles, smoke and stench has made it to the Top 10. Mumbai is well-known for many things. But, cleanliness is not in that list. Were the others so dirty, that Mumbai made the cut? That’s something to ponder over and give the municipal corporations of ‘dirtier’ cities something to think about.

Given such issues, the impact of the first survey may not be significant. But if done well and improved each year, it could become another important parameter to grade cities on. That itself should benefit residents of ‘clean’ cities, and more so residents of ‘cleanest’ areas in ‘clean’ cities.

Former Editor, Outlook Business and Executive Editor, NDTV Profit, the writer is a personal finance expert. Mail him at

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 8:53:37 AM |

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