BMC to track garbage trucks across Mumbai

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2015 22:34 IST

Taking a step towards turning Mumbai into a smart city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has extended its pilot project of tracking garbage collection vehicles to the entire city.

The civic body had launched the Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring System (VTMS) in the G-south ward (Worli, Mahalaxmi) in February. Last week, the programme was rolled out to the entire city, following which all the 1,983 clean-up vehicles will be under the radar. The real-time monitoring will help the BMC curb malpractices in garbage collections.

From now on, all vehicles carrying garbage and community dustbins will be tracked through global positioning system (GPS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) respectively.

While the GPS will help officials monitor the route of the vehicle, the RFID tags will show if all the bins in the wards have been cleared. According to officials, when the bin is full, the map on the system will mark it blue. This turns to green when the bin has been emptied. Officials will track the vehicles through monitoring rooms in local ward.

However, a few issues need to be sorted out before the project is implemented gains steam, officials said. The solid waste management department is reportedly unhappy with a few glitches in the RFID tags, and has asked the IT department to solve these before installing the system across all wards.

Another issue that is hindering the project is damaged or stolen RFID tags. Officials claimed 11 tags installed on bins were broken or stolen in the G-South ward. As the BMC has no mechanism to curb this, keeping the tags damage-free will be a major challenge for them, sources said.

“We are working out a solution on how to control the damage and theft of the RFIDs installed in the bins. However, overall the GPS has given us good results,” said a civic official from G-South ward, requesting anonymity.

The SWM department is in the process of purchasing new bins and the frequency tags, said Prakash Patil, deputy municipal commissioner. “The GPS has been working efficiently and is making it easy for us to track the vehicles. The project has been extended to other 23 wards as well.”


* While the garbage trucks will be tracked through GPS, RFID tags fitted on dustbins will show if they have been cleared

* The project, initially restricted to G-South ward, was extended to all 23 wards last week

* When a bin is full, the map on the system will mark it blue. This turns to green when the bin has been emptied

Rs 22.5 crore Total cost of the project

* 23 Garages

* 4 Transfer stations

* 3 Dumping grounds

* 4,000 Collection points

* 1,983 Vehicles

In G-South ward
* Even before the project started across city, 11 RFID tags have been damaged already, claimed officials

* GPS devices installed in 19 vehicles

* RFID readers installed in 3 big compactors and 5 mini compactors

* RFID tags installed on 176 on 88 community bins

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