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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Waste management, a burden

Karthik Madhavan

Relieve us of the work as it affects public health activities, say Sanitary Inspectors



Sanitary Inspectors say waste management is taking the focus away from their main tasks.

COIMBATORE: Public health activities in the Coimbatore Corporation seem to be proceeding not in the pace they should be. At least this is what the Sanitary Inspectors suggest.

On conditions of anonymity, the Inspectors say that they are unable to do enough to check food adulteration, lift food samples, check smoking in public places and other public nuisance issues because they are burdened.

The aforementioned activities require full attention of the sanitary inspectors. But they are able to do it only after monitoring the primary and secondary collection in solid waste management and issuance of birth and death certificates.

The solid waste management work eats up their first half of the day and the issuance of the certificates the second.

The Inspectors point out that they are “burdened” with the waste management, which is basically the job of the engineering wing.

According to the Government Order 237, dated October 1, 1996, the State Government said engineering wings in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Salem corporations would take care of solid waste management.

Based on the Order, the number of sanitary inspectors came down from 78 to 24 in the Coimbatore Corporation, with each inspector entrusted with the responsibility of looking after three wards. This happened when the Corporation had a separate set of people – 20 of them – to provide birth and death certificates.

Prior to the Order, the Sanitary Inspectors were assigned with the task of managing solid waste. Then the Corporation had 58 persons dedicated to the task. The issuance of birth and death certificates was taken care of by the 20 people. With the passage of the Government Order, the Government sanctioned an increase in strength of the assistant or junior engineers. The Coimbatore civic body saw their number go up from 27 to 36.

To complement the engineers' work, the Government, through Government Order 241, said conservancy workers should be appointed.

“Since the conservancy work has been entrusted to the junior engineer/assistant engineer of the ward concerned, hereafter the existing sanitary officer/ sanitary inspector will attend to all the works now they are attending to in the Corporation except conservancy work.”

This, the Sanitary Inspectors point out, has not happened. The Coimbatore Corporation has failed to appoint conservancy inspectors and instead burdened the sanitary workers with the job.

They point out that in Chennai Corporation the sanitary workers do not deal with either solid waste management or issuance of birth and death certificates. The latter is taken care of by a separate registrar. The sanitary inspectors say the Coimbatore civic body must follow the new service rules in letter and spirit and relieve them of the solid waste management duty.

A senior Corporation officer says the inspectors do have a genuine grievance but appointing conservancy workers is not such an easy task because it has huge financial implication on the Corporation. He adds that the situation for appointing conservancy workers is ripe and the appointment will happen soon.

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