VIJAYAWADA: The drivers working with the sanitary department of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) have been facing several problems in running the unfit vehicles for some time now. They allege that all their pleas to repair the vehicles are only falling on deaf ears of the civic officials.
The VMC has 150 vehicles including dumpers, tipper trucks, 10-tyre truck and others. As many as 110 drivers are working with the civic body. However, a majority of the vehicles are unfit for operation and the VMC authorities have not taken up any repair works, despite the innumerable requests made by the drivers.
“The brakes, glass wipers and tyres of the vehicles are not in proper condition. I had a close shave a week ago as the brakes failed,” lamented K Yedukondalu, a sanitation driver. Another driver, A Appa Rao said that they have been requesting the civic authorities to conduct regular checkups to assess the fitness of the vehicles. “For the past one year, a thorough fitness check was never conducted.”
Besides, the drivers alleged that the vehicle depot managers are asking the cleaners (helpers) to run the vehicles, which is not a safe practice. N Ranga Rao, a driver, said, “In our absence, the officials in the depot are assigning the work to the cleaners who are inexperienced in driving. These officials are not even responding to the issue.”
AITUC general secretary A Ranganayakulu said that though the officials visited the vehicle depot many times they failed to take necessary measures for getting the repairs done. However, VMC assistant engineer (vehicle depot) K Venkateswara Rao denied the allegations made by the drivers stating that the civic body is repairing the vehicles within 24 hours of damage.
Meanwhile, mayor Koneru Sridhar has recently expressed displeasure with the civic officials for neglecting the maintenance of the VMC vehicle depot. About a month ago, he inspected the vehicle depot and found that only nine dumper placer bins out of 30 were in good condition. He chided the officials for not undertaking the repair works for the super sucker vehicle, which was lying useless in the depot for over a year now. But, the officials seem to be in no mood to follow the mayor’s directions.