Eight out of 12 road sweepers of DNCC out of order

Two road sweeper trucks of DNCC sitting idle in DNCC’s mechanical workshop in city’s Gabtoli
Prothom Alo

When the city dwellers are exasperated with dust on the roads, the road sweeper trucks worth millions of bought for cleaning the roads are lying idle. These dust cleaning vehicles of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) can’t dust themselves off.

DNCC has a total of 12 road sweeper trucks. Of them, 8 are lying idle in workshops. DNCC was allocated three of these vehicles from the local government ministry. The DNCC bought two of the remaining five with their own money. Three were received from a project implemented at DNCC.

Waste management department’s engineers say that three small road sweepers (500 kg capacity) cannot be used as these machines make dust fly into the air instead of cleaning. Brushes used to sweep the road in two medium sized vehicles (3 tonnes capacity) has been eroded. Three big sweeper trucks are out of use due to technical problems. Machineries have to be imported to fix these three vehicles.

Waste management department’s executive engineer Saiful Islam told Prothom Alo that the small road sweepers provided by the ministry are of no use.

He said the DNCC has discussed with the supplier company about two sweepers bought by its own fund. The supplier company has assured of fixing technical problems by importing the required parts. Tender process has been finalised to procure brushes in two other sweepers has been completed.

Three small road sweepers were seen covered in dust during a visit to DNCC’s mechanical workshop in city’s Gabtoli on Saturday afternoon. Even the stickers of DNCC on the windshields were covered by dust.

Five bigger road sweepers are in the same place. Three of these have been lying out of order for a long time. Three more medium sized road sweepers are in DNCC’s Mohakhali regional office. The remaining one, a big one still in use, is kept at Dholpur workshop for most of the time.

Three out of order from the beginning

The local government ministry provided three road sweeper trucks to the DNCC in October, 2020 for use in big roads and small roads alike.

Officials said these road sweeper trucks are almost out of order from the beginning. Because, instead of cleaning the roads, these machines rather make the dust fly in the air.

At that time, the ministry bought 20 such road sweeper trucks from Italy spending Tk 297.5 million. Each road sweeper cost nearly Tk 15 million.

Dust pollution is a common problem for Dhaka residents. Elderly people, children, pregnant women and those suffering from complex disease are the worst victims of dust pollution. According to a study done by National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), 49 per cent of children brought to Dhaka Shishu Hospital between November and February suffer from respiratory problems. The level of dust pollution remains at peak between November and February.  

Bangladesh Institute of Planners’ president Adil Mohammad Khan told Prothom Alo that public money is being wasted due to the disuse of these road sweepers.

The city corporation should have maximum attention in this regard and should hold the responsible officials accountable. Without such surveillance people’s money would be wasted and the city would not be cleaned either.