The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 14 , 2014
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Clean capital hope rides on tech vigil of garbage vans

Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will borrow a leaf from ousted private cleaning agency A2Z’s book to keep tabs on workers entrusted to collect and dispose garbage in the state capital.

Flooded with complaints that cleaners employed by it to pick up garbage and dump it at Jhiri on the city’s outskirts were not doing their job, the civic body has decided to revive the defunct hi-tech vigilance mechanism via geo-positioning system (GPS) that A2Z had introduced in 2012.

By this month, GPS will be installed on 150 vehicles — around 40 tractors, 60 dumpers and 50 Tata Ace vans that are used to collect waste from houses — to keep an eye on around 800 contractual workers that RMC has hired to clean the city.

A control panel will be set up in RMC CEO’s office from where he can track the vehicles and find out whether the drivers are shirking work.

“Complaints about overflowing drains are pouring in at our toll-free number, 18003456530 soon after it was relaunched on January 6. This shows that the cleaners employed by us are not carrying out their responsibilities efficiently. Hence, we decided to start the tracking system, which was introduced by A2Z but stopped functioning within two-three months because of technical glitches,” CEO Manoj Kumar said.

Kumar is optimistic that unlike last time, the hi-tech experiment will be successful and they will be able to install a glitch-proof monitoring system for which talks are on with engineers. A meeting has been scheduled with the engineers on January 15 to thrash out the nitty-gritty.

“I want the GPS installed on all vehicles soon. The system will ensure that garbage is lifted every day and disposed of at Jhiri,” the CEO added.

RMC, which has taken the onus of keeping the city clean from this month after showing the door to Gurgaon-based A2Z, has roped in ward commissioners to see to it that their respective areas are being spruced up regularly.

“The ward commissioners have been told to check whether garbage is picked up from their areas. However, clogged drains are still a problem. We are sure that the GPS vigilance will help us tackle this issue too,” Kumar said.

Among its other measures, the civic body has revised the daily wage of contractual workers from Rs 125 to Rs 168.

“We have revised the rates so that our workers carry out their tasks more efficiently. Moreover, I have decided to pay them on a weekly basis,” he added.

Deputy mayor of RMC Sanjeev Vijayvargiya said they were planning to increase the total number of cleaning staff to 1,300.

“As of now, we have hiked the pay. But we also want to increase the number of hands and vehicles like tractors. The total requirement of tractors is 55. By January 15, all should be in operation,” he said, adding that they would soon float a global tender for a solid waste management plant in Jhiri.

Can RMC successfully implement the vigil system?