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T1, T2, T3… Rising Challenges of Indian Cleaning Industry

Surface cleaning

Right from the entrance of the terminal, the floors and the walls up to a height of 10ft, including the retail space and the office areas, are maintained by A2Z Infrastructure Ltd. Having worked with T1, T2 and now with T3, Amrita A, Head-Quality T3, A2Z Infra Services, is well aware of the requirements of a high traffic area. “The arrival is divided into the domestic and the international piers. Around 15 lakh sqft is cleaned and maintained by us.” A2Z has deployed more than 45 cleaning machines, including Forbes Pro and Dulevo, various tools of Partek & Gala and Diversey chemicals for cleaning only in the arrival area. “Cleaning as such is difficult only when people do not understand what they are doing. It is essential the operator or the janitor understands what he or she is doing and why cleaning is being done. If I am to tell a worker don’t scrub a particular area, he is not going to understand. He has to be told why he cannot use a particular machine or tool for a particular floor. In the same way he has also to be told why a particular chemical has to be used on a particular surface and how it works, only then will he be able to perform correctly.

The reasoning is important. “Besides training, we have groomed our workers and also instilled in them a feeling of being a part of the maintenance process. Maintaining this place which is a gateway to India should become a part of their way of thinking and operating. An operator or janitor will then not work just for the sake of working but will work to ensure that the place is clean. Such thoughts invoke performance.”

Toilets too need constant cleaning in high traffic areas. “We are maintaining Blue Collar Washrooms in the international pier (IP) and domestic pier (DP) and apron areas for the loaders and other workers. At one end we have seven male, seven female and four unisex washrooms and at the other end we have eight male, eight female and four unisex washrooms besides five handicapped washrooms. All washrooms are manned 24/7. These toilets need constant spring cleaning on a daily schedule while deep cleaning, which requires at least 45 minutes, is done depending on the flight schedule. Apart from the Santoemma foam cleaning machine we also use single discs to scrub the toilet floors.” Maintenance of carpeted floor in the mezzanine floor at both the domestic and international end is tough too. Every day cleaning at the international end is done with the broad 70cm Taski vacuum cleaner. All together A2Z has deployed five machines to clean this 80,000sqft carpeted area.

These machines include two foam generators, two walk-behind vacuum cleaners and one carpet scrubbing machine. Carpet cleaning in itself is a challenging job. It becomes all the more taxing in an airport as there could be spillage of soft drinks or water, food or anything requiring immediate spot cleaning. Many a time, it may not be possible to do spot cleaning immediately making it a difficult task.

“This is the most prestigious project that one can associate with,” sums up Amrita.

Toilet cleaning

T3 is also equipped with a large number of toilets, more than 300, in the entire premises. Around 250 toilets at the terminal are cleaned and maintained by Updater Services Pvt Ltd. “This is one of the largest projects and we have ensured that the cleaning operations are rendered up to the mark,” says S Marriappan, Operations Head, Delhi.

“We have created a replica of a toilet similar to the one at T3 at our training centre set up close to the airport,” says Marriappan. Training is most essential for the success of any operation. “Unless the workers are given to understand what they are doing, why they are doing and how they have to do it, the end result will not be conducive, how much ever mechanised or modern the cleaning processes may have been implemented. Soon after we were given the contract, we set up a special training centre, identified staff and began training them. Each and every janitor deployed at T3 has gone through the training. This empowers them to deliver what is expected of them round the clock.” With Korean tiles and Roca fittings in the toilets, adopting the right kind of cleaning modes and methods is necessary. Around 30 supervisors working in three shifts monitor, guide janitors and schedule the cleaning operations. “For example, the deep/spring cleaning of toilets in the domestic flight area can be taken up during the night as it is a lean period.”

Hence, the cleaning schedule depends on the feasibility and the necessity. “Accordingly, we have deployed machines and chemicals. We use the Dulevo foam machine besides other tools and Taski range of chemicals for toilet cleaning. We have multiple machines to cater to any eventuality. In short, with the right technology, schedule, supervision, training and support we want to make every user of the toilet comfortable.”

An airport is often the first introduction to the country. A good airport would signal a new India, committed to join the ranks of modern industrialised nations,” said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the inaugural address. Making a committed effort to maintain the cleaning standards at all times is one of the major impediments for India’s progress. Keeping the T3 clean is a challenge for everyone associated with it. In fact, the cleaning and maintenance of T3 began much before it commenced operations. Three years back, when this project began, multiple contractors were working simultaneously to complete the Terminal…

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