The plotter and two scanners, bought in July, at the drinking water and sanitation department office in Doranda, Ranchi, on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Going way beyond its core area of functioning, a government department in Ranchi is offering a much-needed service at low cost.
The drinking water and sanitation department has installed a large format scanner and two plotters that promise to come in handy for architects and town planners who require digital prints of technical drawings in sizes larger than conventional A4s and A3s.
Executive engineer (design) Suresh Prasad said the need for scanners and plotter machines was being felt for a long time.
“Almost all government departments have an infrastructure development section which undertakes construction work. Scanners and plotters are required to print architectural designs. Prints on A4 (8.3 x 11.7 inches)-size paper fail to provide the kind of detail available in large A0 (33.1 x 46.8 inches)-size paper,” he explained.
The branded plotter and scanners, each costing Rs 3.8 lakh and Rs 1.3 lakh respectively, were procured last month. They have been installed at the department’s Doranda office. The public will be allowed to use them for a fee less than market rates from next month.
Large A0-size prints and scans are expensive and were till now offered by only four agencies in Ranchi.
Vivek Kumar, an architect associated with a building construction company, explained the cost structure of large prints.
“In the state capital, the cost of a black and white print on A0-size paper is around Rs 250, while a colour print is costlier,” he said, adding that due to high costs people did not opt for large prints even when they needed it.
Sources said the department would offer printing, scanning facilities at half the market rates.
“Both the scanners and the plotter are e-enabled and multifunctional. While the machines will be extremely useful for government offices, local residents and businessmen who need large copies of land maps or plot designs can easily get it printed here,” Prasad said.
The department is now looking for a vendor to run the machines for the general public. Prasad said an advertisement had been issued.
Word seems to have spread as many prospective users were already singing praises about the initiative.
“Big prints give better detail. Now, the general public can also aspire to get detailed records,” said Kumar Navin, an advocate who is a regular user of large prints given that he deals with land related cases.