“Our main intention of providing vehicles to these women is that the MCC wanted to increase the efficiency of waste pickers. It helps to distribute manpower and decrease dependency on male drivers. The proposal will be placed before the MCC Council for approval and the project will see the light of the day.” —G. Lakshmikantha Reddy, Commissioner, MCC
Mysore/Mysuru: Women will soon be driving garbage collection vans and visiting houses of 65 Wards in the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) to collect waste. This ‘wheels of independence’ is an attempt at inclusivity by the MCC that is in the race to regain its Cleanest City tag.
This will be a first-of-its-kind attempt in Mysuru where women will take a larger role in order to make communities clean while also empowering them to be self-sufficient and not to always depend on male drivers.
As of now, there are 233 auto tipper garbage collection vehicles that move in all the 65 Wards picking up home-to-home waste. The MCC has placed an order to procure 65 more auto tippers and all these new ones will be driven by women.
Of the 2,000-odd Pourakarmikas that are deputed for garbage cleaning, 850 are women. All the vehicles — both three-wheelers and four wheelers — that are used to collect garbage are driven by men and some women Pourakarmikas operate pushcarts to collect waste as they are not trained in driving.
MCC Health Officer Dr. D.G. Nagaraj told SOM that the women in the driver’s seat scheme will be enforced on an experimental basis and once the 65 new vehicles come, they will be handed over to the trained women drivers. A survey is on to identify women Pourakarmikas who have driving licences, he said.
The survey will also list the women who express interest and they will be trained in driving. Later, they will be deputed to drive the solid waste management vehicles in different wards, he added. They will drive the solid waste collection vehicles and ensure segregation of the waste.