The first of such camps will be held at Uppilipalayam on January 4. Two private hospitals – K.G. Hospital and Kovai Medical Center and Hospital – have agreed to assist the civic body in the programme. Enough protective gear will also be provided to the workers so that they do not contract any infection from the waste they handle. The Corporation has also planned modernisation of conservancy, such as mechanised loading of garbage on to trucks. But, the primary removal will be done by the workers and therefore they will have to be trained in safe handling of municipal solid waste.
Explaining this plan to presspersons recently, the Commissioner pointed out that the workers themselves had to be healthy first because they were responsible for sanitation in the entire city. A training module was being prepared with the help of the Tamil Nadu Institute of Urban Studies. The importance of wearing masks, boots and gloves would be emphasised. There was hesitation in a section of the workers in using these. But, this would be sorted out and the best quality protective gear would be given.
Besides the health camps, de-addiction counselling would also be given to the workers. They would be educated on the ill-effects of alcohol. “These measures are being planned because the workers should feel totally involved in the creation of a clean city,” the Commissioner said. A bio-metric attendance system was being planned for the workers. With this, attendance would go online and remove the clerical burden of manual attendance that was now on the Sanitary Inspectors. Once this system was in place, the inspectors could focus fully on their original duty: ensuring sanitation in the city.