Mumbai: BMC to buy more mechanical brooms for city roads

Even as the previously purchased mechanical brooms are not in much use currently, the civic body has decided to buy more mechanical brooms for the city. The civic body will spend around Rs 5 crore on the purchase and maintenance of these mechanical brooms.

Civic officials said the idea behind using these brooms is to keep the roads with busy traffic clean 24 hours.

The move has been opposed by the conservancy workers, who feel that procuring more and more mechanical brooms will render many of them jobless.Workers from the solid waste department have opposed the civic body's decision of using mechanical brooms to clean the city since the first time they were purchased."Contract workers have already lost their jobs a few years back to these new mechanical brooms and more jobs could be axed," said one of the conservancy workers.

Each mechanical broom covers a minimum of 28 km per day. Also, eight hours of work will be done in two shifts. Along with the purchase of these mechanical brooms, tenders were also invited for year-round circulation and maintenance of the brooms. The cost of each mechanical brooms for maintenance and operation will be Rs. 2.43 lakh per month and Rs. 1.45 crore annually. Including all taxes, this expenditure will go up to Rs 4.85 crore.

"These mechanical broom vehicles will be handed over to the Solid Waste Management Department after they are procured. Garbage collected by these vehicles will be transported to the landfill by vehicles carrying radar rods. The vehicles will run in two shifts with four hours of work in each shift. These mechanical broom vehicles travel at a speed of 6 km per hour. At this speed 28 km per day can be covered which is 840 km per month," said a senior BMC official.

The Mumbai civic body had purchased a similar mechanical broom a few years back. "I don't think, these machinesare being used. The machine was supposed to be used to clean the roads at the Bandra-Kurla complex, as well as the East-West Expressway. Still, the civic body is purchasing more machines," said a conservancy worker on the condition of anonymity.

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