Delhi agencies revisit old plan, introduce mechanical sweeping machines to clean roads

In 2010, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had outsourced the work of vacuum cleaning of arterial roads to three private firms but the project met with serious operational problems.
In 2010, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had outsourced the work of vacuum cleaning of arterial roads to three private firms but the project met with serious operational problems.(Hindustan Times)
In 2010, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had outsourced the work of vacuum cleaning of arterial roads to three private firms but the project met with serious operational problems.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Sep 19, 2017 11:13 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

In an effort to control road dust, the civic agencies will introduce mechanical sweeping machines in all its zones.

The North MCD plans to engage 10 vacuum-based mechanical sweeping machines in the coming month. Out of them, four machines have been already hired and will be put to use from next week .

The corporation will use them on wider roads (up to 100 ft wide) belonging to public works department.

“The reason for selecting wider roads and highways for mechanical sweeping is that there won’t be any illegal parking on them during night. These huge vacuum cleaning machines would work for at least eight hours in a day and sweep at a speed of 5 kmph in the beginning,” said senior North DMC official.

The step has been taken on the directions of lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. “In the past, the L-G has made it clear that the municipal corporations would be responsible for keeping the roads clean, irrespective of the agencies they belong to. So we have selected stretches such as Ring Road, Delhi University area, in our jurisdiction in phase I. Based on feedback, six more machines will be engaged,” said official.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation purchased 12 mechanical sweeping machines for cleaning Ring Road and National Highways at night. “All of them were made operational last week and sweeping is done at night. These are supported by suction cum jetting machines for cleaning drains,” said Kamaljeet Sehrawat, mayor, South DMC.

On SDMC’s plans to introduce small vacuum machines for internal lanes and markets, Sehrawat said the project could not implemented due to technical issues. “The machines would be efficient and cost-effective as it will cover 25 kilometers in a day and save 60-70 sanitation workers,” said Sehrawat.

It isn’t for the first time that civic agencies are using mechanical sweeping machines.

In 2010, the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had outsourced the work of vacuum cleaning of arterial roads to three private firms but the project met with serious operational problems.

Officials said uneven roads, broken pavements, poor road design hampered the project. Another drawback was the slow speed of these machines.

They could not be deployed during the day to avoid heavy traffic jams. At night, their progress was stalled by cars and commercial vehicles parked on the roadside.

In 2014-15 again attempts were made but could not turned out to be fruitful. “Those were imported machines with features not appropriate for Indian roads,” said SDMC official.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vibha Sharma covers municipal bodies in Delhi. A journalist for almost a decade, she has also worked for the hyper-local editions of Hindustan Times, covering civic concerns in south Delhi, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad.

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