Mumbai: When the largest city of Madhya Pradesh, Indore emerged as the cleanest city of India in the sanitation survey Swachh Survekshan (urban) this year, for the second time in a row, many urban civic bodies including the ones in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, etc had approached the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) to study their waste management and sanitation model. Motivated by this, the IMC has since then been looking for different ways to further enhance the cleanliness quotient of the city. One of their noteworthy experiments was Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled wrist watches and garbage vehicles that was undertaken last month.
After attaining the 25th spot in Swachh Survekshan 2016, our aim was to work towards getting the top spot. Once we achieved that in 2017 and 2018, our goal was to give justice to the title and set new standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Our focus has mostly been on improving people’s habits and sanitation infrastructure and thus it was time we do something for the civic staff, Asad Warsi, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Nodal officer tells NDTV.
When the sanitation experts of IMC were conducting their research and studying the waste management models in India and abroad earlier this year, they came across GPS-enabled wrist watches that tracks the professional efficiency of the employees and records their attendance. Once a sanitation worker wears the smart watch, his/her movement and the numbers of hours he/she worked can be monitored. Around 10,000 employees including additional and deputy commissioners, engineers and workers will get the smart watches by next week.
Alongside developing the necessary infrastructure like composting machines or recycling centres, it is equally important to ensure that people who are in charge of operating the machines are diligently performing their duty. Though we have not received any complaints from citizens with the functioning of our civic staff, we want to ensure zero errors on our part. The workers will have to wear the smart wrist watches during duty hours and their work will be tracked by the senior officials, explains Mr Warsi.
At the end of every month, a performance report will be prepared, and action will be taken against the defaulters. The watches will be rented at Rs 300 each on a monthly basis.
In addition to the smart watches, the IMC will also use GPS system for 600 garbage collecting municipal trucks to monitor its movement. The trucks travel through all the 85 wards in the city every day lifting tonnes of waste from households and commercial establishments.
Last month a private IT firm was given a contract of developing a special software that would track the movement of trucks and prepare a detailed report accordingly. The software was tested in 42 wards to check whether or not the garbage vehicles were using their designated routes. The time taken by these vehicles for door-to-door garbage collection is also estimated, adds Mr Warsi.
The IMC is currently setting up a control room for the senior officials to monitor the real-time movement of garbage vehicles and track the employees with the help of GPS.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.