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Solid waste management takes a hit

Shortage of sanitary inspectors (SI) has hit solid waste management in the city.

Until the erstwhile Tiruchi municipality was upgraded to corporation in 1994, it had one sanitary inspector for each ward. The ratio was deemed as sufficient and healthy in monitoring garbage collection and transportation. But the ratio did not persist long. It started decreasing gradually due to various reasons including restrictions on recruitment.

As per the standard ratio, Tiruchi Corporation should have at least 65 sanitary inspectors — one for every ward. But, sources say, it has just three sanitary inspectors in addition to three sanitary supervisors, making the job difficult for them to supervise solid waste management works and registration of birth and death. No one has been appointed to the sanitary inspector posts for the last six to seven years.

To tide over the crisis, the Corporation Commissioner, based on a communication from the Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA), recently issued a circular asking Junior Engineers of their respective wards to supervise the sanitary workers and sanitary inspectors (SIs). Since then, sanitary inspectors, who were taking care of neighbouring wards, have been reportedly confined to their allotted wards and refuse to carry out tasks in others. The situation has created bottlenecks in garbage collection and management.

Though the move is said to have given temporary relief to officials, interaction with field-level workers reveal that the arrangement has not been received well among Junior Engineers as well as sanitary inspectors.

“We are duty bound to execute the task given to us. However, we are not specialists in solid waste management. It is an art to get things done from the sanitary workers. We are learning the art,” said a member of engineering department.

While admitting that there were many vacancies for sanitary inspector posts, a senior official maintained that solid waste management largely remains unaffected.

Synergy had been created by involving members of engineering section and sanitary inspectors mainly for carrying out anti-dengue drive. It had become useful for carrying out day-to-day solid waste management works., the official added.


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