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The mechanical sweepers that never came

Just before the Commonwealth Games, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) decided to go hi-tech and purchase 31 mechanical sweepers to sweep clean the city. The Games have come and gone, but there’s still no sight of the new mechanical sweepers.

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2010 23:07 IST
Neelam Pandey

Just before the Commonwealth Games, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) decided to go hi-tech and purchase 31 mechanical sweepers to sweep clean the city. The Games have come and gone, but there’s still no sight of the new mechanical sweepers.

These machines were to be deployed in all 12 zones of the MCD.

The MCD now says these sweepers will be in place by next year. “We are hoping that these mechanical sweepers will be in place next year. The funds have not been released under the JNNURM scheme that is why we were couldn’t buy them. Once the money is released, tenders will be called,” said a senior MCD official.

While most developed countries use mechanised tractor-sized street sweepers, the civic agency still depends heavily on manual sweeping to clean residential streets that receive a high volume of pedestrian traffic and litter. In Columbia, for instance the district sweeps nearly 4,000 miles of city streets every month with such tractors.

“We are confident that the quality of cleaning work by the mechanised sweepers would be better than that of departmental sanitation staff. These would be deployed mainly on the main roads under MCD’s jurisdiction,” the official said.

The civic agency had managed to deploy two mechanical sweepers in and around Games Village and Jawaharlal Nehru stadium during the Games period.