Ever since the purchase of mechanised sweeping machines from Italy last year,questions have been raised on their utility considering the heavy financial burden they have on the Municipal Corporation exchequer. The MC reportedly spends Rs 1.25 lakh a month on the maintenance of these machines.
While the three machines were purchased for Rs 3 crore,five side brooms need to be purchased from Italy every month at a cost of nearly Rs 19,000 per broom.
Councillor Dr A P Sanwaria says,The then Mayor Harjinder Kaur and I were kept out of the loop when the final purchase was made. I had opposed the trip. The machines were in use in Delhi,but the officials still went to Italy.
He adds that the machines purchased were not in accordance with the need of the city. An MC official added that while the recurrent cost of the machines is high,they would become defunct if the required money is not spent on their upkeep.
Interestingly,there are nearly 1,400 sweepers employed on regular basis by the MC and another 1,000 work on contract basis. The Safaikaramchari Union had suggested that instead of spending money on these machines,more people should be given employment.
The proposal for purchasing the machines was mooted in 2007 following which the then Joint Commissioner H S Kandhola and Medical Officer of Health Dr G C Bansal had gone for the trip.