Special Correspondent

To track and schedule fleet traffic

  • Purchase of handsets has been sanctioned
  • Approval for project to augment fleet of garbage trucks sought

    Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation is working on a scheme to equip garbage truck drivers with mobile phones, under plans to track and schedule fleet traffic for increased efficiency.

    The Government has already sanctioned the purchase of mobile handsets.

    Mayor C. Jayan Babu said the communication system would enable the fleet movement to be monitored by the Health standing committee and officials in the Health section.

    The proposal, however, ran into a roadblock after the company short-listed for supply informed the corporation that the chosen handset model had been withdrawn from the market.

    Subsequently, the Corporation Council approved a decision by the Health standing committee to identify a similar model for supply. The technical committee also gave the green signal for the decision.

    Health standing committee chairman G.R. Anil said 40 sets would be procured, 15 for Health Inspectors, and the rest for truck drivers and conveners of Kudumbasree units involved in garbage collection. "The demand is likely to go up to 100, once the Capital City Clean City programme is extended to all the 86 wards," he said.

    Meanwhile, the Corporation has sought Government approval for a project to augment its fleet of garbage trucks. Efforts are on to equip all the garbage trucks in the Corporation's fleet with double loading bays for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

    As many as 19 trucks have already been converted. "The council has sought Government sanction to procure 10 new lorries with double loading bays. We hope to get the vehicles before the next phase of the Capital City Clean City programme takes off on October 6," Mr. Anil said.

    The conversion of garbage trucks is primary to the success of the new solid waste management system which depends on segregation of garbage at the point of generation. All houses and commercial establishments covered by the scheme have been issued separate containers for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

    Kudumbasree functioning

    Simultaneously, moves are on to streamline the operation of Kudumbasree units collecting garbage from households.

    A review meeting convened last week assessed the performance of the units in the 25 wards covered in the pilot phase of the Capital City Clean City project.

    The meeting decided to institute a health insurance scheme for Kudumbasree workers, in view of the occupational risks. Recently, two women were injured after they fell from a three-wheeler autorickshaw carrying garbage.

    The meeting also decided to streamline the Kudumbasree system with by-laws to ensure the safety of the workers. Kudumbasree director Sarada Muraleedharan and its senior officials and Corporation officials were present at the meeting.

    As many as 362 women workers under 28 Kudumbasree units are involved in the pilot phase of the new garbage collection system, covering 40,000 houses and 4,000 shops.

    Corporation sources said the number of women would go up to 1,500 once the Capital City Clean City programme becomes fully operational.

    By the time the programme is extended to all the 86 wards, the number of Kudumbasree units is expected to swell to 100.

    The Corporation plans to bring 1.5 lakh households under the scheme before March.