The Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (Huda) plan to high-tech sweeping machines for city roads has hit a roadblock over budget constraints.
“Compared to last year’s financial estimates, this year’s budget seems to have increased by a considerable amount and forced senior officials to rethink the plan,” said a senior Huda official on the condition of anonymity, adding that fresh calculations estimates have pegged the expenditure at Rs 2 crore a month.
The new methodology includes a threefold increase in the number of sanitation workers (safai karmcharis), introduction of sweeping machines and deployment of more vehicles — dumpers, tractors and fully covered rickshaws.
Six private companies had submitted an expression of interest (EOI) for induction of a modern sweeping system. The Huda’s estate office (EO) department, which had prepared the sanitation budget last year and sent it to the Huda administrator’s office for approval, is now clueless about the plan.
Amid rising concerns over cleanliness in the city, HT has repeatedly highlighted the issue through several reports.
At present, the Huda spends R56 lakh on sanitation every month. The sanitation contractors, however, say there is an acute shortage of safai karmcharis and vehicles such as JCBs, tractors, trolleys and rickshaws.
Since April 1, 2012, the authorities have been relying on temporary arrangements after the sanitation contracts in the city expired on March 31, 2012.