PMC’s Road Cleaning Drive Turns Dusty: Sweeper Machines In Pune Under Fire For Poor Execution

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Pune, 2nd November 2023: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) launched a high-profile road cleaning initiative using sweeper machines, aiming to enhance cleanliness and secure a top rank in the Swachh Bharat campaign. However, the grand plan seems to have hit a roadblock, as the machines are blowing more dust than picking up garbage, leaving 12 major roads in the city in a dismal state.

Despite an expenditure of Rs 70 crore on modern vehicles to clean footpaths and road dividers, the implementation has been far from effective. The PMC’s ambitious solid waste management changes, initiated to boost its Swachh Bharat ranking, have fallen short of expectations. Sweeper machines, deployed since 2017 on 12 major roads across four out of five municipal zones, are failing to meet the desired cleanliness standards.

In a recent development, three additional sweeper machines were introduced in Kondhwa-Yeolewadi, Dhole Patil Road, and Kothrud areas, funded by Rs 10 crore from the 15th Finance Commission. Despite the addition of these new vehicles, the situation on the ground remains grim, with 15 machines now in operation.

hutchings school

The sweeper work tender requires laborers to sweep waste from footpaths and transfer it to the road. However, the machines are struggling to pick up garbage dumped on the road from footpaths, leaving the sides of footpaths untidy.

The current process involves cleaning 40 km of roads daily, with each road spanning 10 km. Operating from 10 pm to 6 am, the sweeper machines make four passes on both sides of the road divider and footpaths. However, the road still bears remnants of soil, gravel, and mulch.

The roads cleaned by sweeper machines include Nagar Road-Mundhwa Bridge, Vimannagar, Gunjan Talkies to Airport, University Chowk to Sancheti Hospital Chowk, Senapati Bapat Road, University Chowk, Baner Road, COEP Chowk to Wakdewadi Hatchery Centre, Sarasbagh to Nanded City Gate, and Katraj Chowk to Swargate.

The sweeper machines, equipped with a water tank and rotating brooms, are expected to sweep the road by sprinkling water to prevent dust and clean the road thoroughly. However, the current situation reveals a stark contrast.

dreams per square feet

As the vehicles speed along the roads without proper watering, a substantial amount of dust is blown, and the road remains littered with mulch, soil, and gravel. The dividers and footpaths accumulate garbage, with no effort to remove it. Furthermore, no municipal employee or official monitors the contractor’s work during the night.

Sandeep Kadam, Deputy Commissioner of the Solid Waste Management Department, PMC, acknowledged the shortcomings, stating, “As the administration noticed that the sweeper machine was not cleaning the roads properly, three contractors were fined Rs 60,000 each in the month of September. Instructions have been given to the contractor that dust should not fly while the sweeper is working, and the entire waste should be picked up. Strict action will be taken if there is no improvement.”