The MCC drafted an additional 280 pourakarmikas to handle the extra waste generated

Soon after the strains of the violin and beats of the drum faded into darkness, and the last of the customers left after satiating themselves at the food mela, there was a sudden flurry of activity as nearly 200 pourakarmikas got ready to begin their day.

Working behind the scenes, pourakarmikas hired on contract by the Mysore City Corporation during Dasara (from October 4 to 15) had the job of ensuring that venues such as Amba Vilas Palace and the Maharaja College Ground were clean and ready for the next day’s programme.

The MCC had drafted an additional 280 personnel during Dasara to handle the extra waste generated in the city. Mysore, on an average, generates around 400 tonnes of garbage daily and this shoots up during Dasara.

“The waste was transported to the solid waste management treatment plant. This was in addition to the daily door-to-door collection of waste from other parts of the city,” said P.G. Ramesh, Commissioner, MCC.

“While 100 additional personnel were deployed for day duty, 180 personnel were deployed to clean the various venues at night,” said Mr. Ramesh. This was in addition to the routine cleaning carried out by pourakarmikas working in different wards. The area of jurisdiction was marked out for the team and they spread out across important venues where crowd participation was more.

This included the surroundings of the palace, J.K. Ground, Scouts and Guides Ground, Maharaja College Grounds, exhibition ground and places around Devaraja Market, Sayyaji Rao Road, Town Hall and Devaraja Urs Road.

In addition, 28 members of the Swachata Committee coordinated with the pourakarmikas hired on contract and looked after their requirements. The MCC also deployed 15 health inspectors and environmental engineers to supervise the cleaning operation.

Though clean-up was taken up successfully, the fact is that the MCC is facing staff shortage. For a city with 65 wards, there are only 15 health inspectors and each of them supervise around four wards. The 15 inspectors include eight retired employees whose services were drafted exclusively for Dasara.

Nagaraj, a retired health inspector from the MCC, told The Hindu that the sanctioned number of health inspectors in the MCC was actually 30.

Mr. Ramesh said the matter would be taken up with the government to recruit additional staff.

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