Agency to be entrusted with the upkeep of storm-water drains

Faced with a severe shortage of manpower, the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has proposed to outsource sanitary operations and solid waste management in 18 wards in the city, including the Central and Chathram bus stands and the Gandhi Market, as a pilot project.

As per the proposal, sanitary workers from contracted private agencies were to be deployed for sanitary work and solid waste management in wards 8 and 9 and the Chathram Bus Stand in Srirangam zone; wards 7, 28, 29, 61, 62, and 64 and the Gandhi Market in Ariyamangalam zone; wards 35-39, 63 and 65 and the Central Bus Stand in Golden Rock zone; and wards 40, 41, and 45 in K. Abishekapuram zone.

The workers would be engaged in primary collection of the garbage from the two bus stands, Gandhi Market, and 77,262 households in the 18 wards every day, segregate them at source into degradable and non-degradable waste and transport them to the corporation garbage dump. They would be required to clean the streets and storm-water drains in the wards.

The private agency would be required to clean and maintain the 21.25-km bus route roads in the 18 wards on a daily basis by using road sweeping machines.

Although the corporation has previously attempted to privatise sanitary work on a smaller scale covering the bus stands and the market, this is the first time that the initiative was planned on such a large scale in the city.

The move was expected to kick up much dust at the Corporation Council, which would consider an official proposal on the matter on Wednesday.

The civic administration justified the move pointing to the shortage of the sanitary workers, the rise in population, and expansion of the geographical spread of the city.

The city, spread over 167.23 sq km, has a population of 9.16 lakh and about 2.33 lakh households and 256 slums. Roads for 1,293 km and 776 km of storm-water drains had to be maintained by the civic body.

Solid waste management in the city was currently handled by 1,655 sanitary workers against the standard requirement of 3,636 workers.

The corporation had not been able to go in for recruitment given the government stipulation that the outgo on staff salary and pension could not exceed 49 per cent of the local body’s annual revenue.

Hence, there was no option but to go in for outsourcing, the officials said.