CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is replacing manual scavengers with robotic excavators to clear solid waste and hyacinth in storm water drains finally adhering to the Supreme Court ruling that has banned the employment of human beings for cleaning manholes.
At the council meeting on Monday, the Corporation ratified a proposal to purchase three Robotic Multipurpose Excavators, one for each of the three regions, at a cost of Rs 28.8 crore. The cost of one of the excavators is pegged at Rs 9.6 crore. The quoted cost also includes the maintenance and operational expenses of the equipment for a period of four years.
The excavators will be used to work in storm water drains with width of less than 3.5 metres. The machinery is capable of lowering and lifting itself to 10 feet. The civic body opted to purchase the equipment after a delegation that visited the Brihanmumbai Municipality in April 2015 assessed its application to Chennai conditions.
The Corporation will also purchase one amphibian dredging vehicle, the Water Master Classic IV, at a cost of Rs 9.97 crore, from Dharsan Dredging and Construction limited. The heavy duty machinery will be used to curb the mosquito menace along canals by removing hyacinth and vegetation. The quoted cost includes maintenance and operational expenses for five years.
With regards to taxes on commercial establishments, the Corporation will increase the rates by 15% every three years. After city limits expanded, it was found that a GO 92 issued by Municipal Administration and Water Supply had allowed for rate revision by 15 % every three years.