The headquarters of the Tamil Nadu state government in Chennai, which has been criticized over its growing pollution problem. Photo: iStock

It’s official: Chennai is “the most unclean” city in India.

According to the government’s  latest Swachh Bharat (Clean India Movement) rankings, Chennai is at 235th place, though smaller cities in the same state, such as Tiruchy and Coimbatore, figured among the top 20 cleanest cities in the country.

Among the 434 cities surveyed, Chennai dropped to 235th place from a 2016 ranking of 35th. Even suburbs such as Tambaram, Pallavaram and Avadi fared much better than areas within the Greater Chennai Corporation limits.

According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, Tambaram is at 62nd place, while Pallavaram was ranked 155th and Avadi 169th in the rankings released by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Thursday. Towns like Kumbakonam (37), Erode (42), Tiruppur (68), Hosur (82), Velankanni (84), Dindigul (106) and Vellore (108) were way ahead of the state capital in the rankings.

Tiruchy, the gateway to southern Tamil Nadu, was ranked sixth and Coimbatore 16th.

The states with the cleanest cities are Gujarat (12), Madhya Pradesh (11) and Andhra Pradesh (8).

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