Surat photo goes viral: Contractor ferries labourers in garbage vehicle, faces probe

Garbage vehicle ferries labourers in Surat. (Express Photo)

The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) health department on Monday initiated an inquiry after a photo of the corporation’s garbage vehicle ferrying its labourers, including women and children, was widely shared on social media.

The photo of the garbage vehicle bearing registration number GJ-16 AU-2415 plying on Amorli road in Surat went viral on social media Monday afternoon. Women and children were among the labourers seated on the carriage in the picture. The SMC health department officials found that the vehicle runs in Varachha area under Jigar Transport that holds SMC’s garbage collection contract.

Health officials said that contractor Kanjibhai Patel initially denied such an incident but when they showed him the photo, he admitted that the vehicle runs under his contract in Varachha zone and the labourers are residents of Amroli area in Surat.

Dr Kinjal Patel, deputy medical officer, Varachha Zone, said, “The photo is around three days old and the location is Amroli. We called the contractor, Kanjibhai Patel. This will not be tolerated and the contractor has to make separate arrangements to bring and drop the workers. Else he has to pay them for their transport. He will come to meet us on Tuesday and we will issue him a notice and impost a penalty. Concern is about the health of labourers.”

The vehicle runs in Varachha zone to collect the door-to-door wet and dry waste, which is later dumped at Amroli site in Katargam zone. The labourers from Amroli area are ferried in the garbage vehicle to Varachha from where they travel in other vehicles to collect the garbage. After work, they return by the same vehicle to Amroli.