Staff Reporter

Contract with Onyx ends on February 25

  • Competitive bidding process must be followed for big projects
  • Sanitary workers will be transferred to other zones if collection privatised

    Chennai: The Chennai Corporation will invite international competitive bids for garbage clearance in parts of the city, as the contract with waste management company Onyx ends in February, 2007.

    At the Corporation Council meeting held on Friday, Mayor M. Subramanian said that Onyx's seven-year contract to clear solid waste from Ice House, Kodambakkam and Adyar zones closes on February 25. Tenders will be floated shorted for the new contract.

    The council also passed a resolution to approve privatisation of garbage collection in the Pulianthope zone. The proposal would be sent to the State Government for its decision.

    R. Prakash, councillor in Kodambakkam zone, commended Onyx's services in keeping the streets clean but complained that work was turning shoddy in recent months. "Perhaps, workers are turning careless because the company is not sure of winning the contract again'', he said, asking why the contract could not be renewed with the company.

    The Mayor replied that the competitive bidding process would have to be followed for big projects. He said he had met Onyx representatives and been assured of efficient service till the end of the contract.

    CPI councillor R. Subramani was the only one, who opposed privatisation of garbage clearance in the Pulianthope zone. He said that many conservancy workers, who were mostly from SC communities, would lose their jobs.

    The Mayor said that sanitary workers would be transferred to other zones if collection in one area was privatised.

    Multi-storeyed parking

    The Council approved acquiring of land for construction of a multi-storeyed parking lot at the Panagal Park-Bashyam Road junction in T. Nagar. Though the project comes under the charge of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the Corporation has to provide the land.

    PMK councillor T. Sathyamoorthi said that Panagal Park, an important green space in the city, should not be taken over for construction.

    The Mayor said that only 359 square feet of the Panagal Park's total extent of 19,908 sq. ft. would be taken for the parking lot. The rest of the land for the 3,500 sq. ft parking lot would come from road space.

    Congress member Sushila Gopalakrishnan requested that all councillors be given telephones. "Councillors are not paid salaries.

    But our phone bills come up to Rs. 3,000 per month because we have to be in touch with local residents," she said. The Mayor announced that all councillors would be given telephones in their offices but they would have to ensure the facility was not misused.