Srinagar: Srinagar Municipal Corporation is in news either for good or bad reasons ever since the situation starts unfolding in Kashmir Valley due to Coronavirus pandemic.
The Corporation was appreciated for some of its efforts but at the same time it has come under sharp criticism for the use of disinfectants that it purchased from some favourit outlets.
A Corporator wishing anonymity told KNT that everyone expected a thorough probe into the allegations about purchasing of disinfectants on higher rates from a blue-eyed company but till date nothing of this sort happened and those who are at the helm of affairs are eager to put a curtain over it.
“Here we have new and useful technologies introduced by other states of India to fight Covid-19. SMC does mere eyewash by adding outdated and redundant technologies just to generate bills and to accommodate some blue-eyed businessmen. At the same time, SMC is said to be heading towards corruption under the sweet cover of some blue-eyed persons who are waiting for their shares to be adjusted in their personal bank accounts,” the Corporator claimed.
Pertinently, SMC was first to call for a lockdown in Srinagar city when the threat of Coronavirus was at its infancy.
“Leave aside ‘chemical scam, look at the technology it is using to contain the spread of Covid-19. If SMC is using platform-mounted anti-smog guns then why Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida which had already brought it into operation long back and rejected it due to lack of effectiveness and have claimed them of worst quality,” the Corporator said.
Experts say that misting sanitization in air or on the street is ineffective, because the virus isn’t airborne and people don’t touch the road that often. “Honestly, think about how often do your hands or your mouth comes into contact with a street? Sanitizing misters are not the most effective way to kill the virus, experts say. The Coronovirus mainly travels person to person through saliva and mucus droplets, not by the tiny particles in the air.
“I would rather see better efforts to make sure people at the helm of affairs are disinfecting emergency rooms and high-touch surfaces in hospitals and schools more than I would want to see chemical being sprayed on streets,” said an infection-prevention epidemiologist..
A top employee in the Corporation wishing anonymity said that the height is that these anti-smog guns used by SMC spray nebulize water droplets into the air through high-pressure propellers, which help dust particles settle down. Still, it has a minimal effect in containing the level of particulates.
“Moreover, its vehicle-mounted, so the rentals of the vehicle and operating cost are high. Why waste money? Furthermore, these large vehicles can only work on the main roads of Srinagar due to width of the streets, and for the rest of Srinagar, which is connected with narrow lanes and bye-lanes this process is a complete failure,” he said.
“To take sanitization and disinfection drive to a faster and more practical level, we should have followed Delhi by purchasing Japanese high-tech machines instead of anti-smog guns which are a mere eyewash and loss to the public exchequer. These new machines can sanitize an area of 20,000 square metres in an hour and move in narrow lanes which are suitable for Srinagar. These sanitization machines spray the disinfectants in a way that can kill the germs and virus at any solid surface.”
Insiders in Corporation said that what is being done at present is a temporary measure and is not a long-lasting solution to the problem.(KNT)