Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to cancel the Aadhaar-Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) for its sanitation workers, as it wants them to make full use of their working hours for productive purposes.
The corporation started using the biometric system of attendance to prevent the occurrence of irregularities. While the manual system of attendance was used, staff members were able to skip duty and still get paid. The AEBAS attendance system was able to check the unauthorised absence of workers and weed out fake sweepers.
Since its introduction in April 2017, the AEBAS has saved the GHMC about Rs 2.86 crore. It has helped the civic body maintain transparency and accountability in operations. However, it is now being scrapped for sanitation workers.
According to highly-placed sources in the GHMC, the authorities of the civic body have found that, on an average, a sanitation worker wastes about 27 minutes every day in registering his attendance. Around 1,200 Aadhaar-enabled handheld biometric attendance devices are used by the staff to register their attendance.
There are about 21,500 sanitation workers employed by the GHMC, including sweepers, entomology staff and health staff. Every worker must scan his fingerprints on a handheld device; the prints are then verified against those recorded in the Aadhaar database, and the attendance is registered. This verification process often takes a lot of time.
In order to be able to complete the attendance registration process more quickly, the GHMC has decided to use its own database, in which the fingerprints of all its workers will be stored. Sources say that this move will create scope for the GHMC staff to indulge in irregularities, which may have a financial impact on the corporation.
“Who will monitor the registration of fingerprints of all 21,500 workers? The mid-level staff can easily register fake fingerprints, which will be very difficult to identify, and the irregularities that took place with the manual attendance system will be repeated,” a source said. The GHMC concerned officials failed to respond to questions regarding the issue.