BBMP floats tender for 25 self-propelled mechanical sweepers

When it comes to keeping Bengaluru’s roads clean, self-propelled mechanical sweepers seem to be the more popular choice with the civic body. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which had earlier floated a tender for truck-mounted sweeping machines, has cancelled it and floated a short-term tender for 25 self-propelled machines.

The tender calls for the supply and maintenance of the machines for a period of seven years, and is likely to be finalised by the end of this month. If all goes as planned, the new machines will be added to the fleet of 26 existing mechanical sweepers that are currently deployed to clean 1,400 km of arterial and sub-arterial roads.

The question of which sweeping machines to use was a matter of much debate a few months ago in the BBMP council. At the time, some councillors had alleged there was a scam in the procurement and operations of mechanical sweepers. Councillors, mostly from the ruling BJP, claimed that though the existing machines were not being utilised effectively, the civic body had floated tenders for 25 truck-mounted machines for an estimated ₹227 crore.

Following discussions, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad had stated that he would review and cancel the short-term tenders. Shortly after this, the control over the sweeping machines was removed from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Department and handed over to the Road Infrastructure Department ensure better and effective utilisation of the sweeping machines, said officials.

Senior officials in the SWM Department said that several attempts were made to derail the use of mechanical sweepers, first by the contractors’ lobby and later by elected representatives. “The use of mechanical sweepers will bring down manpower and reduce spend on waste management,” an official said.

On the new short-term tender for self-propelled machines, Sarfaraz Khan, BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (SWM), told The Hindu that they were compact. “In the truck-mounted machines, the suction machines can be mounted on any vehicle. The self-propelled machines are compact in comparison,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 8:35:16 PM |

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