In a first, the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) has been handed over high-end machines to clean the roads within its jurisdiction, as part of Adar Poonawalla’s “Clean City Initiative”. Confirming the development, KCB Vice-President Abhay Sawant said, “The machines have been roped in to help improve cleanliness within cantonment areas. The routes and roads where these cleaning vehicles would ply have been chalked out.”
This comes as a part of Poonawalla’s mission in 2014. During its first phase, approximately 30 km of city roads were proposed to be cleaned every day using high-end vacuum machines. KCB has been provided with six vacuum-based dry litter pickers and one trilo small truck for waste collection. When asked about the expenses to be incurred, Sawant said, “All operations of the machines, including maintenance and salary of employees, will be the company’s responsibility.”
However, sources said, a few board members were unhappy, as they thought the decision was taken in a hurry. Senior KCB board member Suresh Kamble said, “Most areas in the cantonment limits generate wet waste. So, it needs to be seen how these machines can really solve the garbage problems”.
There is a fleet of 50 contractual labourers and 80 permanent staffers who undertake waste collection, segregation and disposal. For several years, the board has been hiring Class IV employees, which has hampered the cleanliness in the areas, said a source. Another board member said, “There are sensitive areas, including ammunition and ordinance factories, located in the cantonment limits. Any accumulation of waste, particularly dry waste, the chances of fire incidents are very high.”
During the last board meeting, members had also raised concerns about lack of cleanliness around the Ammunition Factory, Khadki, following which President Dhiraj Mohan and CEO Amol Jagtap had ordered an inquiry in the matter. Mohan said, “The matter must be studied first and, if found true, stringent action must be initiated against the workers who are not complying with their assigned jobs.”