The city's age-old problem of poor sanitation has made the municipal corporation look towards foreign shores for a solution. The MC, it is being said, would in a week's time invite tenders from Indian and international companies for the task of cleaning roads.
The MC, which has in the past come under criticism for poor sanitation, plans to invite tenders from companies that would use "high-powered suction machines" for the purpose.
Machines manufactured in Italy would be used to clean the main roads of the city and the company employed for the project would be paid a fixed amount for cleaning a kilometre-long stretch of road. "We will become the first civic body in the state to float 'global tenders'," joint commissioner Amarjeet Singh Sekhon said. Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) is preparing the tenders. "PIDB is helping us," Sekhon said, adding that the idea was the brainchild of MC commissioner RK Verma.
"The process will be completed in one-and-a-half months. After this, machines will be used to clean city roads," Sekhon said.
Once the company starts functioning, the MC would use safai sevaks (sanitation department workers) in other areas.
The introduction of machines is expected to help the MC clean the city more efficiently. At present, a safai sevak is paid between R12,000 and R20,000 a month. "But an MC sweeper can only clean a kilometre of road. Our workers usually dump garbage on either side of the roads. But the machine will suck everything" a source in the MC said.
Earlier, the MC had procured four mechanical sweeping machines nearly 10 years ago. These, however, have been in disrepair for long.