Corporation has installed 44 biometric fingerprint readers at ward offices

The Coimbatore Corporation has decided to make compulsory the biometric attendance system for Corporation Conservancy workers.

The decision was taken at a meeting the Commissioner, T.K. Ponnusamy, attended at the Corporation main office on Monday.

Representatives from the engineering and information technology wings were present at the meeting.

Sources said that the decision would come into force on August 1 and the payroll for the month for the workers would be prepared based on attendance recorded at the machines.

The civic body, using general funds, brought in the biometric attendance system about a year ago. It installed 44 biometric fingerprint readers at ward offices, where conservancy workers would leave their fingerprints twice a day.

They would first leave their thumb impressions between 5.45 and 6.15 in the mornings and between 2.45 and 3.15 in the afternoons. The afternoon attendance is taken before they leave for mass cleaning exercises.

The system, however, is only for the Corporation's 2,800-odd permanent workers. The 450-odd workers on contract can sign the register. The latter get paid at Rs. 110 a day.

During the meeting, the sources said, the Commissioner was informed about a few machines being faulty. He asked the officials concerned to immediately repair the machines and ensure that things were in place to record biometric attendance.

The attendance recorded at the machines is downloaded to a computer at the ward offices. And from the machine it is uploaded to the Corporation server at the main office.

Sources in the know of the working of the system say that the problem with effectively implementing the system is that there are four agencies involved – one for working of the computer, another one for the uninterrupted power supply for the computer, one more for the biometric system and the last one concerned with the Corporation server.

When a problem crops up one blames the other and the civic body finds it difficult to co-ordinate the agencies' working.

The sources said that the Commissioner has asked the officials concerned to leave nothing to chance and ensure that the system is functional.

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