Now biometric attendance machines for Delhi sweepers(Lead)

September 24th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Delhi’s sweepers, known for shirking work in the absence of a fool-proof attendance system, will no longer be able to play truant as biometric attendance machines will soon be installed to keep a check on the 60,000-strong work force.”The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is setting up site offices at various areas under its jurisdiction in 12 zones where sweepers can keep their equipment and mark attendance on biometric machines,” Vijender Gupta, chairman of the standing committee of the civic agency said.

Sweepers working with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) till now marked their attendance by either signing or giving their thumb impression in registers. But there were many instances of workers bribing their way to mark their presence and the take off for the rest of the day.

“These machines will be installed at each and every site office for facilitating e-governance and the sweeper will finger-in to mark his attendance removing the possibility of people taking advantage of methods like signing, thumb imprints or supervisor checks to mark their presence,” Gupta added.

The MCD is one of three civic bodies in the capital that manages over 80 percent of the city’s land area. It employs about 60,000 sweepers for cleaning roads, garbage dumps and dustbins.

“Till recent times there were many hassles in monitoring their (sweepers’) attendance. Irregularities were prevalent. The biometric machines are likely to be installed by November and they would check the irregularities in attendance,” Deep Mathur, a spokesperson of the MCD, told IANS Wednesday.

The official, however, declined to comment on the number of absentees per day on an average.

The decision comes a day after a delegation of the Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Sangh, a committee that represents sweepers, approached the MCD with several demands. The demands include an increase in the quota of substitute sweepers, regularization of sweepers appointed on compassionate grounds, filling up vacancies of supervisory staff, and construction of quarters under the Dr. Ambedkar Awas Yojna Scheme.

The sweepers have also responded positively to the new attendance system, MCD officials said.

“The delegation has welcomed the move, and earlier problems of sweepers bribing their way into attendance registers will now rightfully be addressed,” an MCD official said on condition of anonymity.

He added that the biometric machine would ensure that “sweepers don’t cheat the system”.

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