VIJAYAWADA: Despite stiff opposition from municipal employees, the public health and engineering department of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) are contemplating to privatise sanitation in the city by entrusting the task to corporate companies, following government order (GO) 279 promulgated by the Department of Municipal Administration.
Over the months, the city has been plagued with poor sanitation and garbage menace causing much inconvenience to residents. The VMC is to be blamed here for its dereliction in recruiting sanitation staff, despite facing severe criticism from residents. Civic body officials are claiming that implementation of GO 279 would check the garbage menace and sanitation at ground level would be improved.
GO NO 279 would eventually lead to the displacement of the workers. “The contractors will cut down manpower, thus saving big bucks. The workers will not be paid as per the standards. The big corporators will only exploit the workers’ capabilities,” said M David, AP Municipal Employees Union State leader.
With the implementation of GO, the VMC has to etch out an additional Rs 16 crore per annum to the existing Rs 91 crore spent towards the maintenance of sanitation in the city. David questioned why the civic body is intent on implementing the GO in the city even after corporate companies duped sanitation workers earlier.
He alleged that a series of agitations would take place if the civic body fails to roll back its proposal.
According to VMC officials, the civic body spent Rs 91 crore per annum for the maintenance of sanitation in 59 divisions of the city. Of the total, Rs 59 crore is spent on purchasing sanitation machinery and towards salary payment for DWCRA and CMYE workers (2,774). The remainder (Rs 32 crore) is used for clearing salaries of permanent workers (800).
Disclosing the guidelines of GO 279, VMC chief medical and health officer M Gopi Naik said that officials have classified 250 houses in slums as a unit. In a similar manner, 200 houses have been identified in hill slopes and 358 houses in commercial areas.
As many as 1,500 units will be considered as micro packet and the entire city is classified into 1,185 micro packets.
All the micro packets again will be classified as residential, commercial and bulk categories to call for tenders from corporate companies. “As of now, the civic body is preparing the estimations to realise the project for the next three years. Soon after the completion of the procedure, tenders will be invited,” he added.