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BBMP won’t purchase, but hire robotic excavators

BBMP won’t purchase, but hire robotic excavators
Highlights

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike BBMP are certain of hiring robotic excavators instead of purchasing them to clean the citys stormwater drain SWD network Robotic excavators are smaller automatic earthdigging equipment, capable of working on narrow stretches at greater speed

BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are certain of hiring robotic excavators instead of purchasing them to clean the city’s stormwater drain (SWD) network. Robotic excavators are smaller automatic earth-digging equipment, capable of working on narrow stretches at greater speed.This comes after the state government rejected its original proposal for buying them for silt-removal work, showing high cost.The new proposal has now been sent to the urban development department for reviewing.

The idea concerned to deployment of robotic excavators was first discussed a year ago after several low lying areas in south Bengaluru were flooded following heavy rain.With stagnated drains being the reason for sewage overflowing into residences and commercial establishments in Bommanahalli and Koramangala areas, the civic agency had planned to bring robotic excavators for continuous dredging and cleaning operations.The previous government had sanctioned Rs 117 crore as special grant towards rain-relief operations, of which Rs 21 crore had been earmarked for purchase of robotic excavators. “The BBMP had planned to buy excavators as SWD flooding is becoming a common phenomenon in the city during rain,” an official said.

The SWD engineers had invited tenders to purchase them, but only a single supplier came forward. The cost too was high. However, the BBMP decided to go ahead and sent a proposal to the government, seeking Rs 42.8 crore for silt-removal work. But it was rejected.

“Moreover, the quotes were taken from a single supplier and the original equipment manufacturers. The government had also directed the BBMP to check with the other city corporations on the efficiency of robotic excavators.”
It was in this backdrop that the civic agency tweaked its original plan and clear-cut to hire the excavators. BS Prahlad, incharge chief engineer, SWD, said: “We can’t afford to purchase these machines. So, we’ll hire them.”

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