The arterial roads in the city are set to sport a cleaner look. An automated road sweeping machine acquired by the City Corporation was launched for service on Thursday.

The machine, costing Rs.73.5 lakh, was procured with assistance from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). It would initially be deployed on the 42-km of newly laid roads in the city.

Advantages

Corporation Health Officer D. Sreekumar said the equipment would help to overcome the shortage of labour for cleaning and sanitation work. “Right now, we have a deficit of over 1,000 workers. The machine will help save the time spent on cleaning. It can sweep four to 10 km in an hour.” Mounted on a truck chassis, the sweeping machine uses a powerful suction device to remove solid waste and mud from the road surface. It sucks up the waste after spraying water to prevent dust from billowing out. The Corporation is planning to deploy the vehicle at night to avoid blocking traffic.

People's role

Launching the new vehicle at a function held at the Kowdiar Park, Law Minister M. Vijayakumar reminded the public that environmental sanitation was as important as personal hygiene.

Expressing concern over the outbreak of epidemics, he said citizens had as much responsibility as the civic authorities in keeping the city clean. Cleanliness should be part of the lifestyle of Malayalis, he added.

Mayor C. Jayan Babu presided over the function. V. Sivankutty, MLA, Deputy Mayor V. Jayaprakash, chairmen of standing committees, councillors and Corporation officials were present on the occasion.