Mrs. Amuthavalli, City Engineer at the Trichy City Corporation (TCC), has been using her knowledge and expertise to ensure the sanitation workforce is functioning during the pandemic. Acknowledging that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult time for her staff, the TCC took immediate action to ensure that the migrant workers experienced minimal shocks. They were provided with adequate food and supplies until the TCC could arrange for their return to their hometowns.
LEADERSHIP THAT ENSURED SAFE SANITATION IN THE PANDEMIC
The TCC put up barricades every time a containment zone was identified. Enough rations, drinking water and medical facilities etc. were provided at these locations. Many times, the staff were working night shifts to avoid panic in the locality. “Tremendous dedication was exhibited by all the staff”, ”, said Amuthavalli.
Further, the city has two blockage removal jet vehicles. The TCC made sure that those vehicles were kept functional throughout the pandemic. Through this, alongside other efforts, sanitation service delivery for the city was properly ensured. The city engineering team also installed leg operated hand washing stations in public spaces, government institutions and prominent places in the city, which supported measure to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Additionally, with the support of the district collector, individual care was given to people who were returning from abroad to Trichy and were kept in quarantine. The concerned teams made immense efforts to reach out to family members of the people in quarantine and ensure they take precautions.
IMPACTFUL LEADERSHIP IS THE WAY FORWARD
Referring to a large marketplace in Chennai called Koyambedu, which had become a COVID-19 hotspot during the first phase of the lockdown in 2020, Mrs. Amuthavalli said “We worked towards not repeating the same that happened at the Koyambedu marketplace in Chennai as a preventive measure. We took immediate action and that helped reduce the spread of infections.”.
Additionally, under the leadership of Mrs. Amuthavalli, the TCC created was able to mitigate a similar hotspot by relocating local marketplaces into smaller spaces within the city limits. Gandhi market, which is in the centre of Trichy and a major local market, the city relocated vendors to different locations to avoid congestion and to help curb the spread of COVID-19
The National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance is a collaborative body, convened in 2016 and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working with governments and decision-makers across the country at national, state and city levels to drive safe and sustainable urban sanitation in India.