As part of its efforts to improve and streamline solid waste management (SWM) in the city, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike will soon begin distribution of two-way radios (walkie-talkies) to officials handling the service.
According to BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana, walkie-talkie handsets will be used to relay messages on uncleared garbage. When members of the public call the BBMP’s control rooms with complaints on uncleared waste, staff will relay the information to the officials concerned via walkie-talkie.
Interestingly, the plan could cut costs as it does not involve purchase of new equipment. Instead, nearly 300 two-way radios, that are currently used by senior officials or fitted to their service vehicles, will be redistributed to other staff.
Lakshminarayana explained that currently walkie-talkies were provided to staff of the rank of assistant executive engineers and above. “However, the service was not effective as officials were using mobile phones,” he said.
“Now, in order to utilise the service more effectively, we are planning to provide this service only to officials working in SWM such as health inspectors, assistant engineers (including ward engineers) and others,” he said.
Explaining further, Lakshminarayana said walkie-talkie handsets given to officials working in welfare, roads and other departments will be withdrawn.
“These officials do not require this service,” he said.
He also said because of unnecessary lines, walkie-talkie communication was not effective.
“All these days, walkie-talkie service was hierarchy-based and given to senior officials. But now onwards, it will be an activity-based service,” he added.
The Commissioner said he had asked the joint commissioner (Health), who is in-charge of SWM, to provide a list of officials working in the department.
However, some Councillors are sceptical. A senior councillor from the BJP, who wished to remain anonymous, said “Our officials do not have commitment. If we complain about garbage on the streets to them over phone, they will not make an attempt to clear it.”
“Now, complaints will be conveyed to officials via walkie-talkie from control room staff. How can one expect them to clear the garbage?,” he questioned.