Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: As many as 150 vehicles bought for the cleanliness drive in the city are lying dumped in the workshops of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC). It has happened because of the officials’ apathetic attitude towards work. Also, these vehicles that are either discarded or are lying unused cost over Rs 4.5 crore. These vehicles were bought in the past five years, but lack of maintenance has turned them into scrap.

They play an important role in the cleanliness drive and, as the Swacchh Bharat Sarvekshan is coming up, the lackadaisical attitude of the officials may affect the ranking of Bhopal in the survey. There were nearly 900 vehicles bought for waste collection, transfer of waste and other cleanliness-related issues. These vehicles included TATA Magic under three categories, tippers, trucks, JCBs and others of different sizes. But, instead of maintaining these vehicles, BMC spent over Rs 4 crore on hiring JCM machines in 2020.

A road-sweeping machine bought for cleaning the streets of Chowk Bazaar, one of the oldest markets of Bhopal, is also missing. The officials have no clue to where the machine was dumped after use for the last time in 2018. The officials, on the other hand, say they are swift in carrying out the repair work and, if the vehicles turn useless, they dispose of them through public bidding. Deputy commissioner in BMC Vinod Shukla says there are over 1,500 vehicles in BMC that are engaged in various projects of different departments. “Vehicles with some technical problems are dumped in the workshop and we try to carry out their maintenance,” he said.

Former Leader of the Opposition in BMC Mohammad Sageer says the officials buy vehicles with fresh tenders and do not focus on the vehicles that have already been bought. It leads to a huge loss for the BMC’s exchequer, he says.

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Free Press Journal