Swachh Auto scheme runs into rough weather

Swachh Auto scheme runs into rough weather
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The Telangana government’s ambitious ‘Swachh Autos’ project seems to be sparking a new controversy. Besides the principal amount of Rs 41,000 for SCs and STs, and Rs 82,000 for others, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials have been demanding an additional Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per auto tipper to allocate the trolley in prime areas of the city. 

Hyderabad: The Telangana government’s ambitious ‘Swachh Autos’ project seems to be sparking a new controversy. Besides the principal amount of Rs 41,000 for SCs and STs, and Rs 82,000 for others, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials have been demanding an additional Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per auto tipper to allocate the trolley in prime areas of the city.

As on date, as many as 1,713 Swachh Auto tippers have been distributed in the city. Several sanitation workers alleged that despite making payment (Rs 40,000 for SC/ST beneficiaries and Rs 80,000 for BC beneficiaries) out of the total Rs 4 lakh amount, the GHMC officials had been demanding additional Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 from them in order to grant the auto tippers and allocate prime areas in order to collect door-to-door garbage.

Besides making Rs 80,000 down payment, the GHMC officials had been demanding Rs 50,000 in order to grant auto tipper at the earliest, said Kiran, a Swachh Auto beneficiary from Circle 9. “I have mortgaged my house to make Rs 50,000 payment to the official in order to get Swachh Auto sanctioned and allocate it in a posh area to collect door-to-door garbage,” he added.

The GHMC officials are allegedly even collecting the amount in the name of security deposit from the beneficiaries. “I have paid an additional Rs 30,000 to the GHMC official during the auto tipper delivery. The official said the amount was towards the security deposit in order to deliver auto trolley worth Rs 4 lakh,” says Chary, another beneficiary from Circle 6.

The same is the case with about 80 percent beneficiaries across all 24 Circles in the city. The beneficiaries claim that about 1,500 auto trolleys out of 1,713 have been distributed in the city. When enquired about irregularities in the Swachh Auto distribution, GHMC Health and Sanitation wing Additional Commissioner N Ravi Kiran said the issue was not brought to his notice.

However, he said he would order a discrete enquiry in to the matter and clarified that the official would face stringent action if found guilty. Replying to a query on misuse of auto trolleys by the beneficiaries, Ravi Kiran said that the GHMC would give counseling for the first time and later it would lodge FIR over the misuse according to the GHMC Act.

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