The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon introduce face recognition/reading attendance system in all civic buildings very soon. After starting the new attendance system at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central as a pilot project, now the system will be extended to other civic departments/buildings.
The move comes after civic employees and their unions had opposed the biometric attendance system after COVID-19 pandemic hit the city, citing the risk of infection. BMC has already started registering data of employees required for the new attendance system.
"The COVID-19 safety protocols have led us to introduce this new attendance system at the all BMC offices/hospitals and other civic buildings. We have been facing a strong opposition to the fingerprint identification system or biometric system of attendance. As a pilot project, we implemented this new system at Nair Hospital and after the successful implementation, we will be looking at extending it to other departments too. This will address the concerns of employees and will also ensure a biometric like attendance," said a senior BMC official.
The BMC introduced the face recognition system at Nair Hospital in August where around 3,000 plus employees have been recording their attendance without touching machines. "After the successful implementation of the project, now 40 Linux-based, Aadhaar-verified facial biometric machines will be installed first in D Ward (Malabar Hill, Tardeo) office. The employees were asked to come with Aadhaar card and the mobile number connected with it. The registration process will be completed by November 24," the officer said.
The BMC suspended biometric fingerprint attendance on March 16 after the pandemic hit the city. Later it decided to restart the system in the month of May. The BMC’s decision to resume biometric attendance at civic and government hospitals to check absenteeism had caused concern among the civic employees. The employees and their unions have since then argued with the administration that the fingerprint identification machines, touched by hundreds of employees, could become a potential coronavrius spreader and lead to a disaster.
Officials, too, had expressed concerns that the machines themselves could pose a risk at one end its touch mechanism, and on the second, the queues of staffers waiting to mark attendance will be another issue before administration.