‘Belagavi City Corporation has two mechanical sweeping vehicles and are being used for sweeping roads in city on daily basis’ – The Belagavi City Corporation (BCC) health officials said in response to an RTI application.
As per the information, recently the officials have purchased fully high-tech sweeping machine from an Canada-based company costing Rs 1.48 Crore for cleaning city roads as part of smart city initiative. The engineering officials of the civic body had conducted a test run with sweeping machines on the city roads before making the purchase.
However, citizens allege that ‘These sweeping vehicles are rarely seen on the roads, most of the roads are dusty and the machines are cleaning only one lane adjacent to the road divider but not all lanes’.
‘BCC Claims to be cleaning roads but not a single one appears clean in the morning. Roads are full of dust’.
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High-tech sweeping Vehicle : The BCC has Tata Ultra 1014, cab-over chassis mounted sweeper module MT4H from Challenger which is equipped with a water tank for dust suppression, a rear mounted main broom and dual side brooms for a 3000 mm wide sweeping path.
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Need for sweeping : Street sweeping provides a major public health benefit by reducing the amount of hazardous materials in our air. In addition to large debris and dirt, our streets are coated with a significant amount of small debris (~10 microns) that is hazardous and not visible to the human eye. The clouds of dust that are formed by speeding vehicles have a significantly high volume of heavy metals, especially Fe (iron), Zn (zinc), Pb (lead) and Cu (copper). Long-term exposure to these metals can lead to gradually progressing diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer of lungs, liver, bladder and skin.
The economic benefit of sweeping is through preventative maintenance of our roads. Regular cleaning of roads prevents the debris from entering into the storm lines. Plugged storm lines are costly to unclog and result in flooding during the rainy season, creating a huge cost to the economy. Also, these heavy metals in debris enter into river through storm line which afterward hampers marine life.
Mechanical sweepers efficiently clean streets, uneven roads, highways, airports, and heavy asphalt grinding in road constructions.