BMC withdraws new dumpers, restores old ones after workers’ complaints

Mumbai: In a respite for the BMC's solid waste management (SWM) department workers, the civic body has stopped using its new garbage collection dumpers. This has brought normalcy in the working of the workers, who were left in a lurch with the civic body's decision to introduce the new dumpers.

Notably, to save a few bucks, the BMC had brought in these new dumpers, which come with some enhanced technology, from August 1. However, this dumper that saved BMC's Rs 1,000 per shift, had in fact become a headache for its SWM workers, who load the garbage in this dumper and later dispose the collected trash at the dumping ground.

Usually, these dumpers are hired from private contractors on a fixed amount per shift, which is probably around six hours.

As per a senior civic official from the SWM department, the new dumpers saved around Rs 1,000 in comparison with the usual ones for which the civic body shells out Rs 5,000.

Free Press Journal had in mid-August published a report highlighting the plight of civic workers due to the roll-out of the new dumpers.

"We have stopped using the machine now owing to the complaints of our workers. There have been complaints of workers facing difficulties in using the machines properly," a senior official said.

According to the SWM workers, they were not provided with proper training on how to use these ‘technologically enhanced’ dumpers. This led to a lot of confusion for them.

"Earlier, we used to work for six hours a day. Of this, garbage collection used to take hardly three to four hours and the rest time slot was consumed at the queue for dumping the waste at the dumping ground. But, the new dumping vehicles took at least seven hours for us only to collect the garbage, followed by nearly two to three hours in the queue to dump the garbage," a worker said.

The workers claimed that the dumpers not only brought difficulties to them to transport the waste, but even for the housing societies as well.

"Previously, it was easy to handle the dumpers. Their height was at three feet. All sizes of wheeled-bins could be attached to the machine and lifted. We could even throw the garbage that falls on the road easily," a worker pointed out.

"But that's not the case in the new dumpers. The new dumpers are at a height and it isn't possible for us to climb up and dump the garbage into it. Only huge size wheel-bins can be attached to the new machines and most of them have been damaged due to the huge height of the dumping machine," the worker added.

Since the new dumpers damaged several wheeled-bins installed at several housing societies, the decision to stop them from use has been welcomed by the residents too.

"At least two of our society's wheel-bins were damaged and we had to bring in new ones. This was the situation in many societies since the wheeled-bins were carried at a height to dump the waste into the dumper and then thrown down by the machine, resulting in the damage of the bins. But we are glad that now the new dumpers have stopped waste collection," said Ramesh Khade, a resident of Chembur.

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