A week ago, the BBMP's Suvidha cabins initiative for sanitation workers came under the scanner for the high cost of producing it.
As the pandemic in Bengaluru worsens, the BBMP's woes are only increasing as they are received flak from citizens, the government and the court alike over allegations of corruption and improper functioning. Now, the BBMP is planning to build 250 Suvidha cabins around Bengaluru.
Suvidha cabins: What are they for?
Last month the government inaugurated Suvidha cabins for the pourakarmikas or sanitation workers. These Suvidha cabins are meant to be used as changing rooms and toilets around the city for sanitation workers and their convenience.
The idea behind these cabins is exactly the kind of development we need in protecting those who do the hardest jobs in the city. Moreover, this will considerably better their workplace conditions. Last month, Deputy CM Ashwathnarayan had inaugurated a Suvidha cabin in Jakkur. It was announced that each unit would be procured at Rs 5.5 lakhs.
However, the cost has been reportedly fixed at Rs 8 lakhs as per Bangalore Mirror. The dimension of one unit is estimated at 20 L X 8 W X 8.6 H each. Each of these 250 cabins is meant to contain toilets, changing room, charging points, first-aid kits, fans, etc. These cabins will be designed and executed by Agrya Infratech. While the initiative is welcome, and can't be debated as a wrong move, what is concerning citizens is the cost going into them.
The cost debate on Suvidha cabins
The cost of these cabins will be spent by the BBMP in Bengaluru, and citizens are concerned about the reported costs. Many raised concerns following the BIEC debacle that nearly cost the BBMP 24 crores a month had it not come out into the open.
Now, citizens are asking if the well-intentioned Suvidha cabin would go the same way. A point to note is that on sites like India mart, an empty metal container can be acquired at Rs 80,000 per unit. Of course, this is without the toilets and other amenities, for a 30-ton container. And for a 40-feet container, it costs anywhere between Rs 1.2 to 1.5 lakhs.
The BBMP's former commissioner BH Anil Kumar had previously insisted that it was necessary. Since then the leadership has changed. However, citizens are currently asking why the pourakarmikas didn't receive the basics such as, PPE kits or protection on time which they have been asking for during the pandemic. So far, 4 pourakarmikas have died due to the virus in the city.
IBTimes reached out to BBMP for comment on the matter, and await their response.