Tired of complaining about irregular garbage disposal services in your area? There is good news from the Dehradun Municipal Corporation: it will install global positioning systems (GPS) in its garbage collection vehicles to keep tabs on their operators.
Once functional, the system is expected to streamline the derailed solid waste disposal mechanism and to ensure effective and real-time monitoring of the functioning of garbage vehicles (both door-to-door and collection trucks), which are nearly 60 in number.
The civic body has approved the tender in favour of a Doon-based company and is hopeful the system will be functional in a week.
The tracking system will alert a control room in at least eight situations, including when there’s a delay in starting a vehicle (within a range of 10 minutes of its scheduled time) and when a vehicle halts at a location for more than 15 minutes.
Civic body officials claimed the tracking devices will generate tampering alerts that will be relayed to authorities in real time, preventing any unauthorised manipulation by any staffer.
The devices will also be able to store up to 6000 records in case of a lost connection.
“Supervision of the daily movement of garbage vehicles has been a major challenge for us. Once the GPS system is fully functional, we will be able to take action against erring employees,” municipal commissioner Harak Singh Rawat said.
Dr RK Singh, a senior city health officer of the DMC, said a single device, along with the maintenance charge for a year, will cost around `11,000.
The civic body is able to dispose of only 200 metric tonnes out of around 300 metric tonnes of garbage generated in the city every day.
The vehicle tracking system will comprise a GPS receiver with inbuilt antenna and a GPRS (general packet radio services) receiver to enable services like tracking and control in connection with a backend control system.
Till March last year, a private firm, Doon Valley Waste Management, had been disposing of garbage for the civic body in a public-private partnership.
However, the company withdrew itself from the contract, forcing DMC to collect waste from households on its own.
However, a section of corporators feels that installing the GPS tracking units alone will not help resuscitate the garbage disposal mechanism.
“The DMC had also introduced a few technology-based initiatives in the past like online complaints and biometric attendance which failed due to lack of technical upkeep and adequate staff training,” corporator Ajay Singhal said.