User-friendly brooms for conservancy staff

Corporation workers using the new broom.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: M. Karunakaran

Deepa H. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation has designed a broom with a long handle for use by its over 3,600 conservancy staff. It is durable, lightweight and effective in clearing small stones, bits of paper and plastic covers off the roads as compared to the existing ‘mallaram,’ a broom made of bamboo and from coconut stalks.

The handle of the new broom is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and the removable bottom portion that sweeps off the waste is made from a kind of engineering plastic, according to officials of the civic body. While the mallarams cost Rs.40 each, the new brooms are priced at Rs.150 each. “The regular mallarams last only for 15-20 days and hence we have stopped using them. We just made do with regular brooms which the conservancy staff was not comfortable using as it involved lot of physical exertion. It was then that we came up with this new mallaram made out of stronger material,” said Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni. Over 2,000 such mallarams have been distributed to the staff and they have been using it for over a month now. “We have ordered about 5,000 more.

Mahaveer Jain, proprietor of Arihant Duraplast, which is supplying the mallarams, said a couple of designs given by the Corporation were tried out before deciding on the model. Meanwhile, the Chennai Corporation is planning to procure four mechanical sweepers. It has one such sweeper now and it is used in Zone 5 (Kilpauk). The mechanical sweepers can cover more area in less time.