In the 1960’s, ecologist Garrett Hardin came up with the idea that as the human population increases, the pressure on finite resources will increase and will result in overexploitation. He termed this phenomena ‘the tragedy of commons’ which means that as our population rises there will be increased strain on limited resources, which jeopardizes sustainability.
In Alappuzha, canals are the best example of commons- a resource shared by all. But over the last few decades, we see that the canals are being polluted due to dumping solid waste and indiscriminate liquid waste discharge.
This is the typical tragedy of commons problem, which Hardin had come up with, where there is no incentive for the individual to keep the canals and ground water clean, since nobody else is involved in that. However if any personal sacrifices like investing in better sanitation/solid waste management options can lead to a better environment which can bring rewards to all.