Financially embattled Coimbatore Corporation has started plugging leaks to curb expenditure has found success in streamlining the movement of vehicles used in waste collection.
After fitting vehicle-tracking equipment to the auto-rickshaws used in the door-to-door collection, the Corporation started getting the actual readings of the distance the vehicles moved and stopped relying on drivers for the information.
This has resulted in savings for the Corporation, says Commissioner Raja Gopal Sunkara, who cites the August-September data to underscore his point.
In August, the difference in data obtained from the equipment and what the drivers reported was 3,376 km in Central Zone, taken as a test case. After close monitoring in September, the difference in data from the equipment and what the drivers reported narrowed down to 66 km.
In other words, the Corporation had in August spent on fuel for 3,376 km – a distance that the vehicles did not cover. In September, with the difference in the reported distance and that of the equipment reading narrowing down to 66 km, the Corporation’s loss was minimised, Mr Sunkara says.
What the Corporation did to plug the leak was deploy two contractors to fix the equipment and monitor vehicle movement on a real-time basis. This prevented the drivers from tampering with the odometer in the vehicles to inflate the distance travelled and taking vehicles for work other than waste collection.
The azonal sanitary officer says the issue before the Corporation fitted the vehicle-tracking equipment was that either the local sanitary officers or drivers misused the vehicles to transport waste from commercial establishments for personal gain. This meant the diversion of vehicles from door-to-door waste collection.
With the Corporation fitting the equipment, this has stopped, he explains. The consequence of this strict monitoring is that door-to-door waste collection has improved, particularly the organic waste collection, from 90 tonnes to 175 tonnes a day.
Mr Sunkara says the next step in further plugging the leak in fuel expenditure is fitting the equipment on lorries used in waste transportation. The Corporation has at present used it only in 200 auto rickshaws. It will also fix route charts for each of the 200 vehicles.
If drivers of the vehicles deviate from the given route chart, the software attached to the vehicle tracking system will alert senior Corporation officers who will check on the deviation, on a real-time basis. This stops the misuse of vehicles and saves fuel and expenditure.
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