The GHMC operates Slow Moving Sweepers (SMS) every night to rid all the major streets of garbage and dirt. But, taking into account the condition of roads in the recent times, the SMS have been rendered almost useless. This has become a hassle for motorists as there is a lot of dust on the roads when the machines operate. Small specks of dust can be fatal, as they hinder the vision of motorists. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Employees Union’s (GHMEU) president, Udhari Gopal, alleges that all the sweeping machines are ways to extort money. He said that currently, there are 25 small sweeping machines and 10 big sweeping machines being operated by the GHMC but the amount of garbage and dust that is there on the roads is deplorable.
He added that the GHMC has to shell out a rent of Rs 625 on an hourly basis for a small sweeping machine and Rs 1100 (approx) for a larger sweeping machine. Apart from this, they also have to shell out the petrol or diesel cost for every vehicle. The GHMEU president says, “These machines are a complete waste of money. There is no point of letting these sweeping machines on to the roads. It would have been better if they would have employed a few more sweepers to clean the roads. It would be better if they could increase the wages of current employees.”
It may be noted that a sweeper gets a pay of Rs 6,500 per month. Regarding the slow moving sweepers, Udhari Gopal had sent a letter to M Maheedhar Reddy, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development. In the letter he had mentioned his discontent over the use of SMS. He further has demanded that these machines be taken off the roads.
Udhari Gopal said that it was the need of the hour to employ a larger man-force. He also alleges that there is a nexus between the authorities and that is why they still operate these machines. He has threatened to go on a dharna, if the machines are not taken off the streets. “We want the authorities to remove all their investments from these slow moving sweepers and put them for some good use. It is after all the public money that they are spending. It would be better to spend it wisely.”