After an unsuccessful experience with the mechanised sweeping machines,the Municipal Corporation is contemplating purchasing a machine for the collection of leaves from roadsides. A demonstration of the machine was held outside the cricket stadium in Sector 16 on Friday and seen by some members of the sanitation committee along with the officials of the civic body. A few members have already struck a discordant note about the machine.
It is through the process of suction that the machine picks up leaves as it keeps moving along a path and shreds these. The machine is pulled by a tractor and has two pipes for suction that are required to be held by two people. A team of members of the sanitation committee is likely to visit Samrala to inspect the machine. The demonstration was given by a Zirakpur-based company.
Chairman of the MC sanitation committee H C Kalyan said,Considering the problem of leaves in the city,a demonstration of the machine was held. It would cost around Rs 17 to Rs 18 lakh. While a demonstration was given today,the members of the committee would be taken to Samrala to see the machine in action. If the members like the concept,a decision would be taken about the purchase of the machine.
However,a member of the committee,M P Kohli,expressed his reservations about purchasing the machine. The machine works fine on a level road but not in case there are potholes,or the road is uneven. It is also unlikely that the machine could work after it has rained. While it was being claimed that the machine would clean 10 to 12 kilometres of road in a day,this did not seem possible when the machine was demonstrated. The exact cost and the annual maintenance cost was not clear. We do not want to purchase white elephants on the lines of the previously purchased sweeping machines, said Kohli.
In 2008,the civic body had purchased three mechanised sweeping machines at a cost of Rs 5 crore. It was stated that the machines would pick up leaves,dirt as well as small pebble. These have,however,proven to be quite unsuccessful. From the time of purchase till 2012,an amount of Rs 73 lakh was spent on the annual maintenance contract of the machines and Rs 18 lakh was spent in the last financial year on the purchase of consumable spare parts.
Rs 2 crore for 20 tractor-trolleys
For a few months every year,the Municipal Corporation is flooded with complaints from residents about the problem of leaves. The MC hires 20 tractor-trolleys every year at a cost of Rs 2 crore for making these available for leaf collection. Councillors have earlier criticised the high cost of hiring these. The problem of leaves has witnessed an increase after paver blocks were installed incessantly at all open spaces and pavements as well as around trees.