Tamil Nadu housing and urban development department have issued circulars to corporations and municipalities to increase the number of e-vehicles for garbage collection.
The department in the circular informed the corporations and municipalities to increase e-vehicles for garbage collection as this would improve eco-friendliness as well as increase the dignity of the garbage collectors.
Greater Chennai Corporation has presently more than 350 vehicles and sources in the corporation told IANS that it was planning to increase the fleet to double the present numbers.
A corporation counselor while speaking to IANS said: “The presence of e-vehicles and uniforms has improved the dignity of the garbage collectors and this is also a major step towards eco-friendliness. So we think that by doubling the number of e-vehicles, the situation of the garbage collectors would improve drastically.”
Officials of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) told IANS that an e-vehicle can travel up to 100 km or six hours continuously on a single charge and periodical charging is required.
R. Mohankumar, an official with GCC while speaking to IANS said: “The e-vehicles are eco friendly and give dignity to the sanitation workers. Other than this, these vehicles can be traversed through narrow lanes and as it is battery operated the sanitation worker does not have to exert much to manage this. Our sanitation workers had to push the carts earlier to collect garbage and discard it but with the e-vehicles, they are at much ease. This induces self-respect and dignity to the concerned people for which we are happy.”
Trichy corporation is also planning to buy 88 vehicles in the current fiscal to improve the garbage collection. The corporation has bought 100 e-vehicles for garbage dumping during the last financial year and together this has become 188 vehicles.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu Urban and housing development department told IANS that almost all the corporations are increasing their purchase orders of e-vehicles and the letter was sent to create awareness among the newly elected councilors, presidents, and Mayors for purchase of new e-vehicles.
Officials also said that they are planning to rope in some advertising agencies to get some advertisements on these e-vehicles, the money from which can be used to repay the loan amount of the corporation as well as make the e-vehicles more colourful.
The Urban and housing development department is also approaching the Union government for sanctioning an amount to convert the garbage collection in all the urban local bodies through e-vehicles.
Maniyamma. K, a garbage collector at Teynampet in Chennai while speaking to IANS said: ” Once we commenced collecting garbage using e-vehicles, our prestige and dignity has risen. This is a new feel compared to the collection done using pushcarts. Now at leastAwe can sit in the vehicle and operate it using battery. It’s also colourful and I feel proud.”