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BMC finally uses its biometric id machines

The attendance machines which can identify individuals from their finger impressions are now being used by the 7,500 employees who report to the headquarters, almost a year after they were installed

Having procrastinated and held technology at arm's length for a year, the city's civic body has finally started using the biometric attendance system at its headquarters next to CST in South Mumbai.


Touch 'n' go: Each biometric machine costs around Rs 25,000. Some
of the machines have been set up at ward offices in South Mumbai and
hospitals like KEM, Nair and Sion, but have not been activated yet.

 
MiD DAY had reported last year how the ambitious Rs 5 crore project was stuck in limbo, with 300 machines being bought at a cost of Rs 75 lakh, but not being used. ('BMC's biometric ID plan stuck in limbo,' February 26, 2011).

Employees of the civic body seemed to finally warm up to the idea on January 1 this year, and since then, employees can be seen signing in and out of the office by a mere feather touch on the device every day.

"The systems have already begun working now, and 7,500 employees have to use their thumbs to start and end their day," said Mahesh Narvekar, the officer in charge of the IT department at BMC. He added that though the system is currently only functioning at the headquarters, their use would soon be more widespread in other civic offices and establishments.

Orders for more machines have been placed. Each machine costs around Rs 25,000.

Some of the machines have been set up at ward offices in South Mumbai and hospitals like KEM, Nair and Sion, but have not been activated yet.



A senior official said, "We have to make cards of the employees with their thumb impressions and other details. Some of the IDs were made, but they developed some technical snags and needed to be rectified. At many of the offices, renovations also took place, as a result of which the machines weren't activated."

The civic body has around 1.18 lakh employees on its rolls, with about 7,500 of them reporting to the headquarters on working days.

The BMC officials had switched over to the punching card system earlier in a bid to control errant employees, but over the years they started being misused.

It is then that the civic body decided to introduce the biometric attendance systems, preventing proxy attendance.

300
The number of biometric machines bought by the civic body

Rs75 lakh
Total cost that the civic body incurred to buy the machines

1.18 lakh
Total number of employees the BMC has on its rolls out of which 7,500 report to the headquarter

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