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Nov-Dec ’12


E Publisher cum Editor Rajneesh Sharma Associate Editor Swarnendu Biswas Resident Editor Sharmila Chand (Delhi) Ashok Malkani (Mumbai) Feature Editor Kanishka Gupta Sub-Editor Tapapriya Lahiri Layout & Design Hari Kumar. V Narender Kumar Advertising Sales Delhi: Debabrath Nath, Sudhir Pandey, Ashish Jha Mumbai: Rajesh Tupsakhre Subscription Sales Dattaram Gangurde Director Sales Sanjay Anand Director Operations & Finance Rajat Taneja Editorial & Advertising Offices: Delhi: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 1202, Pragati Tower, 26, Rajindra Place, New Delhi-110008 Phone: 91-11-45084903, 25854103 / 05 Mumbai: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 105, 1st Floor, Aarpee Centre, Gufic Compound, 11th Road, MIDC, Near Tunga Paradise, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400 093 Ph.: 91-22-28395833 Telefax: 91-22-28388947 Website: E-mail: © 2012 Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Clean & Hygiene Review is a bi-monthly magazine, printed, owned and published by Rajneesh Sharma from 313, Himgiri Apartments, J-Block, Vikaspuri, New Delhi. Printed at Print Creations, C-112/3, Basement, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110 028. Annual Subscription rate within India is Rs. 450 and overseas US $110, for surface mail. Single issue is available for Rs.90 in India and US $25 overseas. Cheques are payable to Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.









The cleaning of linen is perhaps the most important element of housekeeping and it doesn’t deserve a mention that housekeeping is the edifice of the hospitality industry. Though cleaning of linens plays an extremely important role in the maintenance of any facility, but the business of hotels, especially in these competitive times, can be directly proportional to the cleanliness quotient of its linens. A luxurious bed or an enchanting ambience and décor of a hotel wouldn’t be able to eliminate dissatisfaction among the minds of the guests if the bed sheet of her/his room is soiled. However, cleaning of linens in hotels is not only an issue of customer satisfaction but also of serious health and hygiene. The relatively unclean bed sheets are likely to be teeming with dust mites and dead skin cells, which may not be apparent at a first glance, but their exposure over a duration of time can pose danger to health. Infectious material on linens which are not spotless cannot always be visible. However, their effects can be. Besides hotels, effective cleaning of linens is also extremely crucial for the healthcare industry. In fact, it is more important, as clean bed sheets or pillows or operation theatre linen, etc. can prevent the spread of many virulent diseases and cross-contamination in hospitals. However, despite its immense importance, a great majority of hotels (I am not talking here of five-star hotels but many un-starred hotels) and hospitals do not give adequate attention to the crucial aspect of linen cleanliness. Here in our Cover Story, we have attempted to explore the various dimensions of linen cleaning in the hotel and healthcare industry. The overflowing bins and heaps of garbage on streets are common features of our urban lives, as is open defecation and urination, and smoking in public places like Railway compartments. In this way we are contributing our bit to the fast-paced environmental degradation of the planet, and jeopardising the health of ourselves and people who live and work in our vicinity and neighbourhood. The majority of cities in India are far from clean, and for this not only government apathy and inadequate sanitation infrastructure, but also our collective lack of sensitivity towards maintaining cleanliness in public places is to be blamed. We callously and frequently throw garbage and papers here, there and everywhere without giving any concern to the environment. Unless we change this attitude and urge our fellow citizens to restore cleanliness and hygiene in their respective environments, clean and green cities would be extremely few and far between in India. Presently, except Chandigarh and Surat there are hardly any city in India which can come anywhere close to the conception of a green city. Our Business Story amply elaborates by citing figures from a recent and exhaustive study that how unclean our cities are. It also attempts to explore some ways to inculcate the culture of sanitation in our cities. Besides these above mentioned topics, we have covered several other important issues such as pest control in agriculture, the widening scope of housekeeping in the purview of hospitality industry, and the common problems in institutional laundries through our regular sections, which we hope our readers would find to be of engrossing read.

Editorial Policy : Editorial emphasis in Clean & Hygiene Review magazine is on educational & informational material specifically designed to assist those responsible for managing cleaning & maintenance, Laundry, Pest Control, Water & Waste Management and Environment. Articles are welcome and will be published on the sole discretion of the editor.


Nov-Dec ’12









24 Nov-Dec ’12


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Ultrasound Toothbrush for Hygienic Cleaning Scientists have developed the world’s first toothbrush which uses only ultrasound waves to clean teeth. The name of this toothbrush is Emmi-dent, which is now available in India. With this toothbrush there is no abrasive brushing; no rubbing and no scrubbing. This has been achieved via specially designed brush heads embedded with a microchip. EMAG Germany has managed to harness the power of ultrasound to develop cutting- edge ultrasonic devices that can be used safely at home for superior oral hygiene. The development of the world’s first & only ultrasonic toothbrush device, Emmident, to clean your teeth and mouth with ultrasound represents a revolution in the field of dental hygiene and prophylaxis (prevention of disease). The new Emmi-dent toothbrush makes up to 96 million sound waves per minute and uses only these waves to clean the teeth and up to 12mm beneath the surface. It combines with the special Nano-bubble toothpaste which comes with it to create millions of tiny bubbles, which are small enough to get between the teeth and into the gums, where they implode, killing bacteria and dislodging tartar and food debris. You don’t have to use a conventional brushing motion. The technology also destroys any bacteria left on the brush head. In a world where multi-tasking is a way of life, the developers have created a multi-tasking toothbrush, which provides a holistic hygienic solution to all your daily oral care needs. “I have always associated ultrasound with wind, one of the five great elements of our Cosmos that created and sustains us. This is the power of wind delivered into your hands for cleaning, healing and prevention of all dental problems, while building great oral health every day” affirmed Dipak R Desai, Emmi India.

Tupperware Aquasafe Water Bottles to Facilitate Purity of Drinking Water Tupperware, one of the world’s leading direct-selling companies marketing premium food storage, preparation and serving items, has introduced its new range of Aquasafe bottles. Made from safe, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic materials, these water containers are derived out of 100 percent virgin plastic, and use materials which exceed US Food & D r ug Administration ( F DA ) & J a p a n Polyolefin Hygienic Association standards, m a k i n g t h e m on e of the safest and healthiest containers to store water. Available in vibrant & elegant colours, these Tupperware Aquasafe water containers are a value-for-money health proposition and are ergonomically designed to become a graceful accompaniment to carry water. They help to keep the water fresh and crisp.


Nov-Dec ’12


ICUs Are Not Safe in India

The average Indian Intensive Care Unit or ICU in an average hospital in India is likely to be far from safe. Though they are popularly considered the safest part in any hospital, but research negates this popular belief in the case of ICUs in India, where infections are rampant. According to the Deputy medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital Dr. TK Bhowmick the infection rate in Indian ICUs exceeds by almost 40 percent than even that of general wards in the country. He opined that patients admitted in ICUs are more likely to have multiple tubes inserted into them like the ventilator, IV lines or catheters than patients in the general wards, and all of them can be major source of infections. Bhowmick also added that “Besides this, ICU patients are generally more serious and immune compromised as they are often dependent on heavy doses of antibiotic. As pathogens in the Indian ICUs are more resistant to these antibiotics, patients are more vulnerable to get even slightest infections. A recent Indian Intensive Care Case Mix and Practice Patterns (INDICAPS) study having a sample size of 4,209 patients admitted in 124 ICUs across 17 states of the country unearthed the startling fact that one out of every eight patients in the country succumbs to his/her death from infections contracted in ICUs. According to Dr. Narendra Rungta, the President of Indian Society of Critical Care, the hospital acquired infections are common features of Indian healthcare scenario. He went on to add that only 10 percent of ICUs in India complies with practices which are critical to keep those facilities infection free. What is more tragic that many of the hospital acquired infections originating from Indian ICUs could be prevented if a simple practice of hand washing with alcohol-based solution for 90 seconds is adhered to religiously in our healthcare establishments.


Railways to Hit Hard on Littering To counter the challenge of rampant untidiness on its infrastructure and premises, and to deal stringently with the perpetrators of such untidiness, the Railways has decided to get tougher with delinquents who litter and smoke on its premises. The Delhi division of the Northern Railways has already penalised more than 7500 people for smoking on trains and at station premises during 2012, but still smoking along with littering on Railways’ trains and premises continues unabatedly. The Railways has now decided to impose a fine of Rs.500 on anyone found littering on trains or station premises. Careless littering in Railways is a huge challenge to sanitation considering the fact that close to a million passengers use half-a-dozen stations in the Delhi division only, on a daily basis. No wonder, New Delhi railway station as well as Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations generate massive amounts of solid waste every year. The New Delhi railway station has around 275 sanitation staff, while the Old Delhi railway station has 300 sanitation staff. At Hazrat Nizamuddin station, the strength of sanitation staff is 125. However, rag picking at these stations is done on contract basis. According to the new rules, no person is allowed to litter, cook, bathe, spit, urinate, defecate, feed animal or birds, repair or wash, paste posters or write or draw anything on Railways infrastructure, except in those facilities of the Indian Railways which are specified for passenger convenience. Authorised vendors/hawkers in Railways will need to make necessary arrangements to keep containers or waste baskets for collecting litter and ensuring their proper disposal. The officials authorised to collect the fine include the Station Master or any officer not below the rank of Ticket Collector, or any other officer authorised by the railway administration.

A Praiseworthy Drive to Sanitation The newly appointed Commissioner of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC), Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra has taken up cudgels to improve the sanitation levels in the city of Cuttack, Orissa. He has directed his officials to visit different wards in the city in the morning and supervise the cleaning work at those places. The officials have been asked to supervise the sanitation work in all the 54 wards of the city. Here it deserves a mention that the present state of sanitation in Cuttack, like many other Indian cities of India, is nothing short of pathetic, characterised by overflowing dustbins emanating nothing but stench and heaps of garbage lying on the roads. The abundance of polythene littered on streets make matters only worse. The CMC’s outsourcing of garbage collection and mechanical sweeping of roads in Cuttack to Hyderabad-based Ramky Envrio Engineers Ltd in 2011 has also changed very little for the city in terms of sanitation. It seems more than mechanical cleaning and outsourcing strict vigil on sanitation standards in the city is the need of the hour, and Mohapatra is right in ushering this culture of cleanliness. Mohapatra who has expressed dissatisfaction with the present state of sanitation in Cuttack, asserted that sweepers were bunking their duties. He has told his officials to keep a watch on the city’s sweepers so that they do their duty. He also told that he would review the work of Ramky. He has informed that officials would be assigned the job of patrolling at night when the mechanical sweepers play their cleaning roles.

Nov-Dec ’12

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Poor Hygiene Could be Lethal According to a UNICEF report, diarrhea and respiratory infections, caused due to poor hygiene standards, are the main causes behind child deaths in the state of West Bengal. What is more disheartening that most of these deaths could have been easily prevented through better state efforts towards sanitation infrastructure and disseminating of information on sanitation exercises. The report points out that poor wash can result in diarrhoea and recommends washing hands with soaps as among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrhoeal diseases by almost 40 percent. According to the 2011 census, only 59 percent of the population of West Bengal has access to improved sanitation. Moreover, majority of them are from the urban areas of the state. Moreover, in many districts of the state the groundwater has experienced contamination through high fluoride and arsenic content that can affect the health adversely. The expansion of network of water testing laboratories and alternate safe drinking water to tackle the danger of water contamination in high arsenic and fluoride affected districts in the state was suggested by the UNICEF report. Here it deserves a mention that UNICEF is assisting the government of West Bengal in various water testing schemes and training modules. UNICEF has been working as an important partner of the state government towards promoting the ‘Total Sanitation Campaign’ by conducting various planning and monitoring programmes.

Toilets Are Largely Absent in Bastar Though the Sampurna Swakshata Abhiyan has been implemented in the Bastar region of the state of Chhattisgarh since many years, 83 percent of the population in the region does not have access to proper sanitation facilities. It is alarming that 5.5 million families in the Bastar region still have no other toilet option but to defecate in the open, though several crores of rupees have been spent for construction of


toilets in the Bastar region, under the Sampurna Swakshata Abhiyan (Total Hygiene Drive). The funds came from the 12th Finance Commission. According to the 2011 Census, out of the 6,56,413 families who reside in the seven districts of Bastar division, only 1,16,772 families, which comprises only 17 percent, does have sanitation facility in their residential compound. The statistics speaks volumes about the appalling failure of the above-mentioned sanitation scheme. The Kanker district of Chhatisgarh also doesn’t fare much better. Here only 20 percent of the population has this basic facility. In the worst Naxal-affected districts of Bijapur, Narayanpur and Dantewada, the situation is still worse. In this scenario, the business opportunity of affordable eco-friendly toilets, targeted at the people across various underserved districts of Chhattisgarh who are still largely deprived of the basic toilet facilities, can ensure not only green bucks but the satisfaction of doing some corporate welfare.


Nov-Dec ’12


Towards Clean &

Healthy Linen W

hen one talks of laundering, the topic that inevitably comes to mind at first is money laundering. Indeed laundering has acquired new and not so pleasant connotation. When you speak about washing dirty linen even that acquires different dimensions – with people believing that you are

about to indulge in some juicy gossip. However, there is no denying the fact that laundry is serious business for hotels and hospitals. And laundering is an essential part of the house keeping department. A hotel’s housekeeping department facilitates in giving first and as well an enduring impression among the guests. Without an efficient housekeeping staff, guests wouldn’t


e it a hotel or a hospital or a home for that matter, the inmates are always keen to have clean linen – bed sheets, pillow covers, towels, etc. A guest in a hotel would not like to sleep on a sheet which has been used by the previous guest. To ensure guest satisfaction in hotels it is necessary to change bed sheets not only when there is a change of guests but also everyday – even if the guest remains the same. For the hospitals changing linen is essential to prevent spread of disease. Ashok Malkani takes a look at the linen cleaning segment in these two sectors, exploring the necessity to clean the linen, method of cleaning it and whether the cleaning process should be in-house or outsourced.


Nov-Dec ’12

C O V E R STORY have clean rooms to check-in or return to, the lobby would not be spotless and sparkling, furniture and fixtures are likely to be laden with dust, the toiletries would not be replenished and the hotel is likely to bear an unkempt appearance. Besides keeping the rooms and other areas of the premises clean, the housekeeping department of the hotel oversees the cleaning of all types of linens in the hotel and as well as doing any laundry the guest requests. It is said that you spend a third of your life sleeping, which entails that you spend a third of your life in bed. If you are spending that much time in one place, it is crtically important to ensure that its cleanliness is maintained to exacting standards. There are all sorts of things lurking in your bed sheets that you may not be aware of, but they could pose a threat to your health if cleanliness isn’t maintained. And it makes all the more important for a hotel or a hospital to ensure that the sheets are clean. If you could put your sheets under a microscope, you might be surprised by what you would see. Almost every bed has dust mites, which are microscopic bugs that feed off of dead skin cells. These little things live, die and reproduce in the same bed sheets that you sleep in. The only way to keep these creatures under control is to wash your bed sheets on a regular basis. Otherwise, you may develop an allergy, or even a lowered immune system. However, dust mites are not the only things hiding in your bed sheets. Here is what you also may be sleeping with: Dead Skin Cells - Your body sheds about a million skin cells a day, so some of those are bound to come off when you sleep. Unfortunately, dead skin cells, besides being unhygienic to sleep with, also invite dust mites as they are a tasty snack for dust mites. Oils - Your body secretes natural oils as you sleep, which, of course, end up on your bed sheets. Sweat - If you get too hot during the night, your body will sweat to cool off. Thus managing clean linen is necessary – not only in homes

Nov-Dec ’12

and hotels but more importantly in hospitals where lots of dirty linens accumulate in various units and departments. It is essential to ensure a continuous supply of clean linen, which is well laundered, so that housekeeping operations can be carried out smoothly and efficiently. A study by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) showed that when laundered properly, reusable garments and drapes are 70 percent more effective in providing barrier protection. Like any department, laundry services must continually find ways to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Today, several developments in laundry technologies and products have enabled Laundry Managers to reduce energy and water-use significantly and to reduce the impact of laundry chemicals on the environment.

Facilitating Laundering Linen, according to most of the housekeepers, must be sparkling white. So how do they keep it milky white and clean? Most Laundry Managers use bleach for heavily soiled linen. However, whiteness of the linen begins with the kind of water you use for cleaning the linen. It is important to check the hardness and softness of water. Water below 60ppm gives a good wash, above that it will mean compromising with the whiteness. The washing process of the linen is segmented into four phases viz.,

mechanical action, steam, time and temperature, which need to be maintained properly. While bleaching, you need to maintain temperature of around 60 to 65 degrees. When one uses hydrogen peroxide, it is necessary to maintain the temperature between 65 to 70 degrees. When the whiteness reading of the room linen falls below 90 percent according to the reflectometer, the linen should be discarded. The water used for washing room linen can be purely plain water with iron percentage varying between 50 to 55ppm since beyond that the linen is at risk of turning yellow. The F&B linens are washed in a different manner. Laundry is a science in its own right and should be recognised as such. Unfortunately, many professionals in the country are not as well informed. For instance, many launderers are unaware of how crucial the quality of the water is. You can have all the sophisticated equipments and all the machinery and still turn out low quality cleanliness of linen if your water is too hard. To cope with such challenges, unremitting professionalism is required. Not only must the staff of the laundry in hotels, hospitals and also in other institutions be made aware of the importance of water quality but in the setting up of the laundry itself great care must be taken. It is crucial that the hospitality and healthcare industry be up to the mark to take this challenge.

Clean Linen in Hotels “I believe that an important part of marketing a hotel is maximising its repeat business. Linen is one of the physical items with which guests come in most contact with. It should look good and be well maintained. I feel strongly that this is one item that an economy lodging property can use to set itself above its competition in perceived value, relativel y inexpensively,” said Ranjit Mashke, Director, Hotel Shantai, Pune. Added Meenal Shimpi, Executive Housekeeper, Hotel Shantai, Pune, “Hotels should sanitise their linens, to ensure a safe and healthy stay for their guests. Sanitised linens can help



hotels maintain clientele and receive glowing reviews from past guests. No one wants to stay in a hotel where there is a threat of dirty sheets and dingy linens. Guests want to feel at home, and providing clean, sanitised linens is one of the best ways to make guests feel welcome.” Linen is an expensive item, so how it will be laundered requires serious consideration. People involved in handling linen in hotels should have some good knowledge of the process. Moreover, the housekeeper should have a good rapport with the Laundry Manager. Laundry service of the hotel is responsible for providing an adequate, clean and constant supply of linen to all users. The basic tasks include: sorting, washing, extracting, drying, ironing, folding, mending and delivery.

Linen in Healthcare Sector Laundry of linen is an essential function for all institutional housekeeping departments, but in healthcare facilities, laundry plays an even more critical role – it not only contributes to comfort and aesthetics, but also facilitates in infection control. While hotel linen needs attention to attract more guests, hospitals have to be more careful with their linens in order to restrict spreading of diseases and cross-contamination, the potential of which can be rampantly present in unclean hospitals. Because of its high level of energy, chemical and water consumption, laundr y processing also has a significant impact on hospitals’


environmental and financial bottom line. The term ‘hospital linen’ includes all textiles used in hospitals, including mattresses, pillow covers, blankets, bed sheets, towels, screens, curtains, doctors’ coats, operation theatre cloth, etc. The healthcare sector in India is growing exponentially. The overall industry will show speedy signs of growth mainly because of increase in life expectancy in the country. According to the Investment Commission of India, the market size of hospitals and nursing homes will grow at 20 percent every year. Linen which forms an important part of the healthcare sector, therefore, needs utmost attention. However, with healthcare linens comprising between 1-3 percent of a hospital’s budget, on an average, it is not top of the mind for most hospital executives or managers, unless there is a problem. This scenario calls for change. It must be realised that linens in a hospital can be a major potential source of infection since they are likely to be contaminated by patients in hospital beds. Laundry Managers reveal that infectious materials on soiled linen cannot always be seen, so adequate precautions need to be taken. Documentation of the infection control risks associated with healthcare linen has occurred in studies. Proper procedures should be executed at all times to ensure that linens in medical facilities are handled and cleaned properly to prevent the spread of microorganisms that cause

various diseases. Linen management reduces infection rate, operation costs and also plays an important role in improving the physician’s performance. It also plays a greater role in patients’ satisfaction. Attention to patient’s personal needs is as important as medication and therefore adequate supply of clean linen becomes imperative Efficient supply of linen without any defect and delay in time becomes a good support towards delivering quality healthcare services to the patients. In today’s healthcare facilities, patients expect daily linen changes. In areas like ICUs, linen has to be changed even more frequently. To enable the hospital laundry to meet such a demand, the hospital should have a sufficient quantity of linen for circulation. If the hospital does not have proper supply chain of clean linen, then this may lead to the delay in OT and ICU procedures, impede patient care services, cause delay in CSSD operations and eventually contribute to the suffering of the entire hospital operations. Unfortunately, bad linen service is one of the most frequently heard complaints in an average hospital in the country. Sometimes, even surgeries get cancelled due to shortage of operation theatre linen. At the same time, due to uncertainty in arriving at correct stock, new linen is purchased unnecessarily which results in increasing costs. In order to overcome the above problems, it is imperative to have an exhaustive linen management system that automatically tracks soiled and clean linen items continually, through the entire linen cycle in hospitals. It is also essential to reduce the quantity of buffer linen stock at hospitals and ensure service quality standards of housekeeping. Good infection control practices not only protect patients, but hospital staff members as well.

Modern Technologies Modern methods of laundering are being adopted by several hospitals to facilitate infection control.

Nov-Dec ’12

C O V E R STORY The hospitals have acquired new technologies for laundry equipment, which includes updating laundry module in HIS through BPR. They are also using quality chemicals for laundry operation for effective results besides imparting continual training for all team members. The advent of computer and microprocessor controls in various laundry equipments has revolutionised the performance of laundry operations. Other stateof-the-art technologies include computer programmable washer hydro-extractors. The concept of Programmable Logical Controllers (PLCs) has been introduced, which are the ‘keys’ used to control operation and stoppages of equipment. These collect and transmit information to a central computer regarding the actual processing, quality and any disturbances which may occur There is also the use of continuous batch processing systems known as tunnel washing systems. These systems have made the process more efficient and economically more feasable. There are also available modular finishing machines in the market, which have automated feeders, ironers, folders and stackers; giving the linen a more hygienic and acceptable look. These finishing systems provide a high throughput via energy efficient methods at a consistent quality. Electronic cameras have replaced human eyes in quality control, because the speed at which the linen passes through an ironer makes it not only tiresome but also impossible for the human eye to detect holes/ stains in linen. IT plays a vital role in modern linen management in hotels and hospitals. It gives laundry professionals the tools to control costs and manage their linen budgets by tracking and analysing linen usage and establishing inventory and par level requirements. It is necessary to develop software according to the hotel and hospital specifications wherein proper system is to be adopted. Efficiency of software will be accurate once we enter the details into the system and it has to be sorted out ward wise/ department wise and so on.

Nov-Dec ’12

Linen can be contaminated via blood and any other body fluids, as well as by improper handling and storage. Clean linen does not need to be sterile (free from all microbes), but correct handling can help prevent the growth of micro-organisms that can develop under poor hygienic conditions. An increasing number of institutional laundries are today adapting ozone treatment as an adjunct to conventional laundry chemicals and methods. Ozone laundry systems work by injecting ozone into wash water. The ozone molecule breaks down rapidly, oxidising the fatty oils that cause dirt to bind to cloth, disinfecting water and bleaching linens while doing so. Ozone’s only breakdown by-products are oxygen and water. Because it involves no chemical residues in fabrics, it requires less rinsing than other bleaching agents. Ozone technology promises better deodorisation, shorter laundry cycles and improved sanitation, all with the use of lower temperature water, which saves on energy consumption and costs. In short a good laundry facility should ensure the following: • Careful handling of linen articles while laundering. • Correct processing and use of a suitable laundry agent. • While materials are kept white, excessive bleach is not used. • Proper counting and records maintained to avoid shortages of linen. • Speedy operations to meet with operational requirements. • Sound policies regarding damages or loss.

In-house Laundering or Outsourcing? While several hospitals and hotels’ housekeeping departments prefer inhouse cleaning, others are in favour of outsourcing. They believe that the institution should concentrate on core issues. In advanced countries, the choice between these options is a hotly debated subject, while in the lesser advanced countries this problem is hardly an issue. Ever y ambulator y surger y

centre (ABC) faces the decision whether to process the laundry in-house or to contract for outside services. Understanding in-house and outsourcing options can lead to the optimum use of a center’s resources to meet its goals. When considering performing a function in-house, several associated costs like machinery acquisition, repairs and maintenance (50 to 70 percent above the purchase cost may be required for installation) and cost of space that can be used to generate revenue (the amount of space that the new laundry occupies must be considered as a capital cost) should be weighed.The pros and cons have to be considered before arriving at any decisions. The advantages of an on-premise laundry are many. The time taken for laundering is reduced because transpor tation is eliminated; linen becomes readily available, especially in the case of emergency requirements; there is control over the wash process and the laundry agents used, thereby making the wear and tear on linen comparatively much lesser. Moreover, pilferage is reduced, as does the ‘par’ stock required. However, there are disadvantages of in-house laundry in hotels and hospitals too. The cost of equipments and their maintenance is fairly high; related expenses like more employees, water taxes, energy costs, etc. should also need to be accounted for in in-house laundry operations, in hotels and hospitals. The hotels and hospitals also require more staff who are technically qualified, and adequate space is required for their in-house laundries. Moreover, it is difficult to recruit and retain cleaners on a regular basis. Reasons being low pay, streneous level of hard work involved and lack of social respect associated with the job. ■



Clean City, Healthy City


umbai Municipality’s hoarding at a prominent intersection of the city strongly urges the people to not litter. But to no avail as people continue to toss papers and other rubbish nonchalantly. Mumbai had Clean up Marshals patrolling the streets a few years back. Today they have been wiped off the streets of Mumbai. They are no longer visible. “It is difficult to teach Mumbaikars not to litter and hence there is a need for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take strict action,” was the comment of Bombay High Court during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO All India Human Rights Association, which challenged the discontinuance of the ‘Clean-up Marshal’ scheme.

a majority of the Indians. The governments don’t fare any better either, as far as creating

hygienic environments in the cities are concerned. Even after six-anda-half decades of independence,

Pathetic Sanitation Standards To d a y, t h e d r e a m o f making Mumbai a world-class city remains just that – a dream. The city that harbours ambitions of being the next Shanghai is slowly turning into an overflowing garbage bin instead, as Mumbaikars think nothing of littering public places with abandon. What is more depressing that this apathetic public behaviour towards hygiene is not only relevant to Mumbai. Treating the world as a dustbin has become a habit not only with the Mumbaikars but with


Nov-Dec ’12

BUSINESS sanitation is still an often neglected area of concern in India. What the Mahatma Gandhi considered as a critical function of the government is most often grossly overlooked by politicians. But don’t lose hope. A section of our young generation, fortunately, is alive to the need of hygiene. College students in the city of Mumbai have started taking on the role of Advanced Locality Managements (ALM), giving residents around their colleges lessons in garbage segregation, water conservation and cleanliness. “From creating awareness about issues through seminars, discussions and campaigns, to actually talking to ward offices and others involved, colleges are trying to increase public participation,” said Subhash Patil,


ALM Officer, BMC.

The Study as Eye-opener Everyone believed that urban India was more alive to the necessity of keeping the environment clean but in a first-of-its-kind study

etter use of indigenous skills and local resources can improve not only the health of the people but also beautify cities. Maintaining cities clean is important as improper sanitation and rampant filth affects human health. An unkempt city is also not pleasing to the eye. Mysoreans have taken it upon themselves to keep the city clean. They have launched a campaign to clean up the city for one day in February. If people of every city in India not only follows the example of Mysore, but vows to continue the effort of keeping their city clean by a constant vigil against the litterbugs, we will eventually get a clean and healthy country. Ashok Malkani takes a look at the necessity to keep our environment clean.

Nov-Dec ’12

conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development, ranking 423 Indian cities in terms of sanitation and cleanliness, it shows that this is not entirely true. The first report published in May 2010 showcases the direction to be taken by major Indian cities. It endeavours to sensitise administration and citizens of Indian cities about their current state of sanitation. In the study, various expert agencies were involved to assess the status of sanitation on the spot in Class I cities. Technical experts analysed the data collected and awarded points on various parameters. On the basis of their performance, cities were classified in four categories — green, blue, black and red — in descending order. But the Urban Development Ministry has plenty of reasons to worry. None of the Indian cities could make it to the green category, indicating best sanitation and cleanliness standards. Only four cities managed a berth in the blue category, scoring between a decent 65 percent and 75 percent in the study. The study, which covered cities with a population of more than 1 lakh, has thrown up a few surprises. Smaller cities like Chandigarh, Mysore, Mangalore, Jamshedpur and Surat took the top positions, leaving bigger cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, which boast of massive resources and better urban infrastructure, far behind. Delhi is the only metropolis to figure among the top 10 cities. Not surprisingly, most cities and towns at the bottom of the rung are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.



A many as 190 cities fell in the ‘red’ category, scoring less than 33.5 points for sanitation. Several popular tourist spots like Ajmer, Gwalior, Shimla and Varanasi fared dismally and fell in the last category. Churu in Rajasthan has the dubious distinction of being the least clean city in India, among the cities which were covered in the survey, having a pathetic score of 16.75. Srinagar, one of the country’s most frequented tourist havens, is ranked at a shocking 420 with 17.17 points. Kanpur, often referred to crassly as ‘the armpit of Uttar Pradesh’ due to widespread pollution, did find a place among the top 10 cities. Kolkata, considered the dirtiest metropolis in India, also managed a decent ranking of 25. In comparison, Mumbai is ranked at a dismal 45th spot, but suburban Mumbai fared better at 11th spot. The ministry spent a whopping Rs. 3.5 crore on the study that was conducted jointly by AC Nielsen, Development & Research Services and the Centre for Environment Planning Technology. The ministry plans to spend a further Rs. 25 crore on its sanitation campaign. Chandigarh has emerged as the cleanest city in India, with a rating of 73.48 points for sanitation. In order to keep its ranking and reputation as the greenest and cleanest city in India, the administration of Chandigarh is considering a green code for the city. The administration is holding talks with The Energy and Resources Institute to work on the implementation of the code. If the code is implemented, buildings in the city will have to


be environment-friendly including use of natural construction material and lower energy consumption. Chandigarh is also on the way to become the country’s first solar city in 2016. Here it deser ves a mention that while designing the roads of Chandigarh, it was kept in mind that the residential areas should be segregated from the noise and pollution of traffic. Mysore has been rated at number 2, in the study. Surat, which was once considered the cleanest city of the country, got the third position. Overall, the study indicates that the state of cleanliness in Indian cities is very dismal.

Proactive Ideas on Sanitation Mrs. Almitra H. Patel, Member, Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste Management, India, and well known activist for keeping cities clean states that one needs to follow three golden rules to ensure that a city remains clean. They are: 1. The best way to keep streets clean is not to dirty them in the first place. So we should keep our waste indoors until collected at the doorstep, and enjoy dustbinfree roads and towns, as often overflowing street bins are nuisance points, especially for those who stay in their vicinity. 2. Mera Aangan Saaf. If each and every property owner and shop owner or ground-floor occupier keeps his/her boundaries clean, including footpaths, drains and road shoulders, up to the center of his/her road for the width of their frontage, the whole street will be transformed. They should also keep the lanes and valleys behind

their houses clean. It helps if the municipality passes a resolution requiring this from all ground-floor occupants, especially for commercial areas, as this can also help control hawker-litter, flooding and footpath encroachments. In residential areas, enforcement should begin streetwise, after a mass cleanup drive, so that citizens can thereafter maintain this cleanliness. Mera Aangan Saaf is especially important for tourist towns. 3. A city is only as clean as its dirtiest areas. It was this motto which helped Surat Commissioner SR Rao, to transform Surat from India’s dirtiest city to its cleanest in just 18 months. One can begin by cleaning and beautifying and greening the worst areas, especially unauthorised slums, etc. and make them cleaner than anywhere else. That way the health of the whole population is improved too. Remember, flies are equally ready to carry filth into a rich and influential home as a poor one. An inexpensive way to prevent flies is by a whistleblowing garbage vehicle parked at the slum entrance daily at a fixed time, for residents to empty waste directly into it. Or there can be temporary take-away bins placed at convenient locations for an hour or two daily. The lady with great vision prescribes an additional Golden Rule for municipalities. It is: Never collect malba and kooda together. Unmixed waste always has value. Have a separate weekly trip for inerts like road dust, drain silt, and small lots of debris, construction waste and road diggings. These inerts can be sold or used for land reclamation, building plinths, etc. Separate malba collection reduces garbage quantities by almost onethird. This garbage which is free of inerts can be easily composted and used to greatly improve the fertility and productivity of fields near the city, thus making vegetables, flowers and fruits cheaper for all.

The Onus is on Us While everyone points at the municipality’s apathy in failing to keep the streets clean, it is time that

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BUSINESS the citizens do a little introspection themselves too. They must realise that the city is as clean as its citizens sincerely want it to be. They have to end the trait of carelessness in littering up the cities. One recalls, over a decade ago, a letter written by the then Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Chief, Upendra Tripathy, urging the people of Bangalore to take the environment a little more seriously. He had said: I do not like people emitting thick black smoke from their vehicles and drowning everyone else in choking smoke, in the garden city where the absence of sea breeze, thick over-the-road tree cover, close-tothe road compound walls make the problem worse. I do not like people setting litter on fire, early in the morning, when the stench of the half-burnt columns of smoke fills the air! I do not like the open sewerage, uncovered drains, and untreated effluents spoiling the air around.”

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Inculcate the Clean Culture But he did not blame the people for it. He believed that behaviour was a product of social surroundings, education, wellbeing and infrastructure. The same people would, he stated, behave differently in a different country. How true! In the west, you will find Indians taking the trouble of locating a dustbin to discard the waste from their cars. World Environment Day is just a few months away. What are we doing to keep the earth clean and green? Let us start with the street we live on. If each one of us helps maintain our streets clean, soon our cities will acquire a glow of cleanliness. And this culture of cleanliness can pass on to the nation and the world. The environmentalists’ advice can be summed up as: Don’t rely on others to keep your city clean. You have to do your bit not to dirty it, in the first place. ■

Clean Tips for Citizens • While traveling don't throw any wrapper, paper or any dry waste on road. Keep it/them in your bag or pocket (as it/they is/are dry waste you can keep it/them in your bag/pocket). • Keep paper bags with yourself to store wet waste and throw them in dustbin only. • Avoid spitting on roads. It can be the reason for viral disease. • Avoid chewing pan masala, gutka, and tobacco. • Avoid using plastic bags. • If someone is breaking the rule/s pertaining to cleanliness then make him/her aware of it. Of course, you need to adhere to the rules in the first place. • Spread awareness about cleanliness and hygiene to keep your city clean.



Common Problems in

Institutional Institutional Laundries By Brijesh Rathore


hen linen turns gray it generally reflects poor laundering standards. The first step in fixing gray linen is to wash it on a good heavy-soil wash formula with plenty of bleach. If this restores good whiteness to the linen, the graying may be caused by generally poor laundering. There are a host of possible causes for this: under dosing detergent/bleach, overloading the washer, poor water levels, etc. A thorough inspection of the practices and processes used in the laundry may reveal one or more areas that need improvement to ensure proper laundering of each load. Water Hardness: Extremely hard water can cause hard water salts to build up on laundered products. This buildup can be removed by treating the linen in a properly-diluted mineral acid bath. Using a mineral acid-based laundry sour and dosing it aggressively will help to slow down the deposit of hard water salts. • Age: As linens age they can gradually begin to acquire a buildup of redeposit soil. Polyester/cotton blends can gradually lose cotton fabric over time. This increases the concentration of polyester, thins out the fabric, and can affect the overall whiteness of the linen. Good laundry practices and proper finishing will promote good long-term fabric whiteness. • New Linen: It is generally recommended to wash all new linens


with a ‘new linen’ formula before putting them into service. Good new linen wash formulas use hot water, plenty of alkaline detergent, and

importantly, no chlorine bleach. New linens that have quickly turned gray have very often not been properly put into service.

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INDUSTRY High Percentage of Stained Linen F irst, it is impor tant to differentiate between ‘soils’ and ‘stains.’ Most soils should be removable with proper laundering. If a laundered good doesn’t smell clean or doesn’t absorb water well then better general laundering practices need to be put in place (and there are a host of things that contribute towards this). Secondly, if 97-98 percent of the linen is coming out clean and stain free then it is really not a big problem. Laundry reject/rewash rates should vary from 1-8 percent depending on the type of laundry being done. A complete lack of rejects suggests that perhaps the laundry is being a bit too effective in its cleaning methods – the establishment may be wasting money on excessive cleaning chemicals, unnecessarily-long wash cycles, or excessive use of (hot) water. There are a couple of initial checks to be made when identifying a stain. Drop a little water on the stain to see if it absorbs water rapidly. If the water beads up on the stain but absorbs easily into the rest of the linen, it is an oily soil that requires better general laundering (hotter water, more emulsifying detergent, etc.). Rewash this ‘stained linen’ or soak it in a mild bleach solution. If this corrects the problem then it may be necessary to examine the way that bleach is used in the wash cycle. A little investigation may give some guidance as to what is causing the stains. Is the stain present when the linen is unloaded from the washer or is it only visible after being dried? Are all of the stains coming out of a single machine or from a single customer? Common lodging and food service laundry stains are in reality makeup and oily food soils. Solvent and emulsifier boosters are often helpful at removing these soils on the first pass, through the laundry. Holes and Tears Polyester fabric is quite resistant to chemical wear. Holes and tears in polyester clothing are almost always caused by mechanical stress

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–something that punctures or tears the fabric. Cotton fabrics can be damaged primarily by four types of stresses. They are: • Physical/Mechanical Stress: Linens take a beating during use, handling, and laundering. They are stretched, pulled, pounded, and abraded. They are not designed to last forever and are subject to physical wear under normal use. Mechanical stress in the laundry is greatest along the edge of a piece of linen and this is where fraying and abrasion is typically first seen. Being conscientious about not overstressing linens with mechanical action is important for minimising fabric wear. It is especially important to not over dry cotton goods. Goods can catch on metal burrs in laundry chutes, laundry carts, or even on a washer/dryer drum to cause snags and tears. Metal sharps like scissors and scalpels that find their way into the washing machine can easily cut and tear an entire load of healthcare linen. The biggest difference between physical rips/tears and chemical or microbial damage is that most or all of the fabric is still present after physical damage while chemical and microorganism damage tends to cause large holes or patches of

missing cotton fabric in textiles. • Chemical Stress: Polyester fabrics are quite resistant to most chemicals. However, cotton fabrics can be damaged/weakened by the chemical action of bleach and acid. If an entire piece of linen is weak and can be easily torn, this suggests that the damage may be occurring during the wash cycle. This could occur if chlorine bleach were applied at high temperature and low pH, if the cotton goods are being regularly over-soured (below pH 5), or if excessive levels of chlorine bleach are in the goods when they enter/leave the sour bath. Small holes typically indicate that a bleach/acid concentrate is dripping or splashing onto the goods. This could occur at a prespotting board (if a strong rustremoving pre-spotter is used), in the guest room (if a housekeeper uses a room towel to clean with bleach or bowl cleaner), or even in the washer if the product dispensing system allows for acid concentrate to ‘drip’ onto the load during extract. Chemical damage can only be positively identified in a lab environment. • Mildew/Fungus: Certain microorganisms can slowly digest cotton fibres. Such an occurrence should be obvious as the infecting organism is typically easily seen. • Faulty Manufacturing: It is not unheard of for individual pieces or entire lots of linens to be manufactured that are simply easy to tear. They are fundamentally flawed/ weak and are destined to be damaged. This is often the default explanation whenever chemical damage can not be confirmed and when there is no evidence of microbial damage, and no physical/ mechanical stress c an be identified as probable causes of poor laundry operations. The author is the Director, Hospitality & Healthcare, Diversey India Pvt. Ltd.




f you thought that catchy phrases like earth concern and planet protection are merely confined to the tight-knit community of environmentalists, then think again. They are now very much relevant to the hospitality sector of India. Such green thoughts

Taj West End, a heritage property in Bangalore. “The Taj West End (TWE) has gone under EarthCheck Certification by EC3 Global. This is the only worldwide environmental certification programme for the travel & tourism industry. The hotel has got SILVER certification within a year

Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels) initiative; a project which reiterates the conscious effort of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces to commit to energy conservation and environmental management. EARTH has received certification from EarthCheck.


  have strayed into the corridors of many hotel chains dotting the country. It is not uncommon to see hotel chains in India embarking on a green journey and introducing a bouquet of eco initiatives. Budgetary allocations are made, eco policies are laid out and teams are formed to execute eco initiatives in hotels. Such efforts often lead to awards and accolades, besides of course, healthy bottom lines in the longrun. A case in the point is The


and is looking forward to the next level of certification, which is GOLD certification,” said Sanjay Sood, the General Manager, The Taj West End, Bangalore. Here it deserves a mention that EarthCheck is now being used by tourism operators in over 70 countries worldwide. The TWE has adopted the Tata Group’s climate change policy and has integrated environmental measures in its operational process through the EARTH (Environmental

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ENVIRONMENT The TWE describes its environmental policy as a way of life, based on tenets like reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. While the old world charm of the hotel is kept intact, the hotel has been reinventing itself to keep pace with energy efficient measures. Eco

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measures have been seamlessly introduced at The TWE without compromising on the historic appeal of the property. A case in the point is the tree canopies that soar over 100 feet over the heritage property. “In our effort to reuse and recycle, we have used carpenter saw dust as manure for plantation, among other such measures,” Sood added. The reduce factor is addressed by a reduction in pollution at ground level through a new chimney for DG and boiler separately. As far as its rethink strategy goes, the hotel gives away the used cooking oil to the state authorised agent for recycling and conversion to bio diesel. The hotel’s garbage disposal measures also calls for praise. “Garbage is segregated into biodegradable and non bio-degradable and are disposed accordingly. The wet garbage is collected and stored in the freezer and the same is being given to the piggeries,” explained Sood, while adding that this year a new biogas plant is being finalised to reduce the LPG consumption. Being a historic property with abundant green space, The TWE scores well for its strategically positioned water bodies. One can experience 3-5 degrees drop in temperature in the hotel premises compared with the outside ambient temperature, perhaps largely because of the abundant greenery of the 125-year-old property. The cool surroundings are reinforced through rainwater harvesting. This facilitates aeration to the roots of the plants and trees and this in turn helps in preservation of heritage trees and their rejuvenation. Many trees at the hotel are over 160 years old. An energy efficient audit was conducted after which energy efficient motors or pumps were introduced at the hotel. All these eco-friendly measures are juxtaposed with battery operated buggies, which transport guests to their quaint cottages. The Accor Group is among the early entrants to set out on a green campaign. Even as early as two decades ago, the hotel chain realised that it was worthwhile to map out energy efficient initiatives for sustainable development.


ENVIRONMENT “Many solutions were adopted to contribute to the development of local communities, optimise water and energy consumption and reduce the hotels’ environmental footprint,” explained Gopal Paranthaman, Director Engineering, ibis Bengaluru Techpark, and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark, which are under the ambit of Accor Hotels. A recent move in this direction is the adoption of a new sustainable development strategy titled PLANET 21 by Accor Group. Simply put, it outlines 21 commitments and goals, many of which will be fulfilled in 2015. It includes encouraging guests and employees to contribute towards reinventing Accor hotel properties, sustainably. ibis Bengaluru Techpark, and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark are part of Accor’s PLANET 21 campaign. At its best, PLANET 21 is Accor’s way of saying Save the Planet, and this happens in the form of educational messages through bookings, room stays and restaurant service. A survey conducted in this regard revealed that 67 percent of leisure guests take sustainable development actions into account while choosing a hotel. The eco-friend l y measures adopted at ibis Bengaluru Techpark and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark have clocked in an overall savings of 30 percent to 40 percent on electricity. The water conservation measures adopted at the properties ensured that the average daily consumption of water per room is not more than 300-350 liters, which would otherwise have been more than 500 liters. Fuel energy efficiency has been recorded at an average of 500 liters per day at the twin properties and this consumption certainly would have been 10 percent to 20 percent more than the current consumption levels without the green initiatives being implemented. “We have already incorporated the latest in green design for our properties in Bangalore. Minimising glass exteriors, and perfectly sealing the building from all points reduces heat transfer and emissions from the air-conditioning plant,” Paranthaman explained. Clever space planning has helped reduce the public areas in


the hotels, in turn decreasing the quantity of waste material. The ibis Bengaluru Techpark and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark have integrated innovative measures in their effort to do their bit for the blue planet. For instance, from the technology point of view, the hotels have IP integration that help combine back of office systems and prevent duplication of cost and resource wastage in the build. I n n ov a t i v e t e c h n o l o g y h e l p s optimise energy, water and fuel consumption. Automatic usage of the building management systems (BMS) through an IT-enabled plant helps in forming a perfect integration to optimise savings of energy and reduction of waste, hence leading to reduced costs. The long-term plans for these Accor properties in Bangalore include proposing new initiatives like solar hot water system, solar lighting, heat recovery from diesel generators, heat

comes from the waste of thermal power plants. This way, the waste product which could have become a serious environmental hazard, now becomes a sought-after raw material. “Hence, PPC has certain distinct environmental advantages like effective waste utilisation, which makes it more environmental friendly than OPC,” explained Shekhawat. The property is made of Jaisalmer stone which reduces the recurring costs of painting it from time to time. Being in the sandy dunes of Jaisalmer, Suryagarh with its 62 rooms and public areas facing the exteriors or courtyards are designed to attract optimum natural light. The design scheme has made sure that the protrusions in the facade play an important role since majority of the dead walls remain under shadow, thereby decreasing surface radiation. Of course, as you have expected,

recovery from laundry ETP plant, and garden waste management. If you are not green you are not sustainable. The message is clear and that is why right from the word ‘Go,’ the two-year-old Suryagarh hotel, launched by the MRS Hospitality Group in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, has made every effort to be eco-friendly. “Ours is an eco- friendly hotel. We have used PPC (Portland Pozzalana Cement) instead of OPC (Ordinary Por tland Cement),” asser ted Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, Managing Director, Suryagarh, throwing light on the design scheme of this luxurious boutique hotel. Fly ash that is used to make PPC,

the property has adopted water conser vation measures in line with its eco-friend l y profile. “Jaisalmer has survived on a single manmade lake called the Gadisagar. Drawing inspiration from this, we have employed carefully planned techniques. All taps contain aerators, which increase the water’s force and reduces outflow, thereby saving water. Using these aerators saves up to 50 percent of water,” revealed Shekhawat. All plants are on drip irrigation and wastewater is treated and reused for horticulture. Eventually, the hotel has decided to acquire an area in the vicinity to build a huge rain harvesting

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structure. “The presence of non permeable layer of bentonite in our soil is responsible for generating massive runoffs from rainwater, even with a small amount of rainfall,” Shekhawat said logistically, while adding, “Through this structure, the hotel intends to capture the water which would otherwise get wasted.” The area is naturally low lying one with a huge catchment area and is close to the hotel. And if Shekhawat is to be believed, through the help of this rain harvesting structure, transporting water from outside will be reduced, thereby lowering the dependence on diesel, and also the overall carbon footprint. No doubt, seeing the current trend, it would not be far-fetched to say that many hotel chains operating in India have responded to the green call with verve. Take the case of Lemon Tree Hotels, a 10-year-old upscale hotel chain with a presence in 14 cities. In its design and conceptualisation, Lemon Tree Hotels has used glazed sound proof windows. Alternate sources of energy are being tapped by the hotel chain. Wind power is being harnessed in a phased manner because the wind power initiative saves lots of money per hotel. A wind power project is coming up at the Chennai property of Lemon Tree Hotels, within the next 18 months. “We have been experimenting with new ideas like wind power, using BEE certified equipment and solar panels, among others. Since 2004, all these are being implemented across all the 18 hotels under the Lemon Tree Premier, Lemon Tree Hotels, and Red Fox Hotels brands in 14 cities,” explained JK Chawla, Executive Vice President — Projects & Engineering Services, Lemon Tree Hotels. Overall, it is a cost cutting effort, but the challenge lies in implementing measures without tampering with the physical layout of the hotels. “Our energy saving initiatives and

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other conservation initiatives are an in-built part of our business model and project design,” reasoned Chawla. All these are being planned strategically and with a purpose. For instance, solar panel for hot water saves Rs.1200 per hotel per day which amounts to Rs.7 lakh per annum for the group. An estimated calculation has indicated that insulation from heat leads to reduction in AC load by 5 percent. CFL lighting in place of traditional incandescent lighting saves 60 -65 percent power, and LED lighting saves a further 50 percent. At Aditya Park, Hyderabad, room guests are gently urged to save water, as save water cards are placed in the rooms. Water saving taps have been installed. This is part of the hotel’s green team effort to reduce consumption by at least 10-30 percent in the areas of solid waste, chemicals, energy, water, fuel and emissions. “In our green team, we implement measures for optimally utilising the natural sources. For example, while cleaning the rooms, hotel staff switches off the airconditioning and open windows to bring sunlight in to the room,” added Pankaj Saxena, the General Manager, Aditya Park Hyderabad, a Sarovar Portico hotel, which is a premium mid-market hotel from the Sarovar Group. One green effort at Aditya Park, Hyderabad is to offer a comfortable forum where employees can learn about environmental issues, meet new people and exchange ideas. The hotel felt it was a return-oninvestment (ROI) to install a 150 KVA Power Saver for the chiller plant apart from investing on a 150 KVA Power Saver for the lighting panel. It has proved to be a wise proposition. The chiller plant is being maintained and monitored as per the standard set point, according to the ambient temperatures. That is a green thought, well executed. ■




otels and ousekeeping By Swarnendu Biswas


ousekeeping is the edifice of the hotel industry. Without a clean restroom, or a spic and span lobby, the best of facilities and amenities of a five-star hotel are likely to unable to attract discerning guests. It is because without sanitation luxury loses its significance. Similarly, the aesthetic décor of the room wouldn’t appeal to the guest if she/he comes to the room after the meeting and see that her/his bed sheets are still as dishevelled as it was before she/ he left in the morning, and the depleted toiletries in the


bathroom are not yet replenished. Yes, the major chunk of the revenue of hotels still comes from rooms (though F&B segment is fast catching up), but without good housekeeping standards, the best of hotel rooms will fail to attract repeat visitors. However, it doesn’t mean that housekeeping is important only for five-star hotels, which are normally characterised by high-end amenities and decor. It is essential for all hotels, but for five-star properties, the housekeeping standards should be nothing short of impeccable, as here you are catering to guests who are likely to have experienced high standards of hospitality across the globe and naturally they have become habituated to not settle for anything

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Much More Than Cleaning Housekeeping in hotels today is a complex and elaborate task and is not at all confined to cleaning and changing the bedding of the guest rooms, and cleaning of rest rooms and replenishing their toiletries as is

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being commonly perceived by people outside the hospitality industry. But that does not mean that the guests would not appreciate the wonderful laundry service, or for that matter the impeccable security of the hotel where she/he is staying, perhaps not realising that both of these facilities now fall within the purview of housekeeping in many hotels. The laundry service does not only include cleaning the guests’ linens and garments, but also the linens of rooms and also linens of the F&B outlets of the hotels, and maintenance of staff uniforms. At the same time, the now extended role of housekeeping also involves reporting of any untoward elements or about any suspicious person/ luggage/activity in order to facilitate the security concerns of the hotels. At the same time, the housekeeping department needs to ensure that the guests’ privacy is not in any way compromised because of rigmarole of security. Of course, the guest is also

unlikely to wonder why the facility is pest free, when the city is full of pests. Yes, pest control of the property is also a housekeeping exercise. Similarly, if the guests get impressed by the wonderful horticulture of the housekeeping property, many of the hoteliers should thank her/his housekeeping staff for that. And if hotel is an environmentally friendly property, the challenges of waste disposal and waste recycling can assume very crucial role in the purview of housekeeping. Housekeeping plays an important role in forming the overall reputation of a hotel among its guests and potential guests.

Facilitating Guest Satisfaction Succinctly, on a broader scale, the role of modern housekeeping in hotels is to facilitate guest satisfaction through quality professionalism along with special personalised touches, thereby contributing to the guest’s repeat visits to the property despite


FEATURE too, whether through in-house manpower or through judiciously or for that matter optimally combining the efforts of in-house staff and outsourcing operations. It is because cost saved can also be profit earned. The housekeeping department of a hotel should also have excellent coordination with all the departments of the hotel, in order to minimise disruption and optimising comfort, convenience and security for the guests. Among all the departments, its coordination with the security department of the hotel is most important.

the attractions of competition. Besides continual attention and stringent adherence to cleanliness and hygiene, aesthetics and security, great housekeeping should also focus on individual guests’ preferences, likes and dislikes and endeavour with the objective to not only meet her/his expectations from housekeeping services, but also to exceed them. The housekeeping teams at hotels shouldn’t miss opportunity to interact with their guests without getting intrusive and facilitate in every way to ensure that their guests are having not only a comfortable but also a wonderful stay. For example, while chatting with the Executive Housekeeper the guest reveals that it is her birthday today. And then she would be pleasantly surprised if she gets a bouquet of flowers in the evening, along with a box of chocolates and warm wishes.


Next time when she visits the city for business, she is likely to choose this hotel only, assuming all other factors remaining the same. Ideally, great housekeeping should in most cases (not in the above-mentioned case), be apparently invisible to the guest, but should add up to the overall guest experience. At the same time, it should help in making the first impression among the guests, which in these times of frenzied competition is extremely crucial for the growth. The absence of good housekeeping, however, makes it apparent to the guests about the crucial role of housekeeping.

Cost-effective and Coordination And of course, the Executive Housekeeper would ensure that this challenging endeavour must be attained in a cost-effective manner

Training is the Key Housekeeping is not only a 24/7 exercise for the hospitality industry, but is a continually evolving field. Therefore the success of housekeeping services in hotels require training of the in-house and as well as the outsourcing staff (wherever applicable) not only at the time of induction but also from time to time, both in terms of soft skills and technical expertise, so that they are abreast with the latest trends and demands in housekeeping operations pertaining to the hospitality industry. This can help the hotels to compete with their competition, and no wonder many five-star hotels across the country are adhering to this principle. Training should not only be at the level of rank and file housekeeping personnel, but also include the Managers and supervisors. However, the nature of training should ideally vary from senior and junior level personnel. For example, the junior level housekeeping personnel can be trained on handling some new-age equipment about which he is not familiar, or about tackling the dayto-day maintenance challenges, while

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the training for senior level personnel should focus on cost control, or people handling skills. These performance development training programmes from time to time can not only give an edge to the housekeeping of the hotel concerned, but can also help the housekeeping personnel in their career growth, thereby preventing employee dissatisfaction and arresting the attrition rate to some extent. Already many five-star properties are laying great emphasis on frequent training, but the emphasis towards frequent and updated training in the realm of housekeeping should percolate towards many three-star and two-star budget hotels also, spread across the country. Only then our hospitality industry can become more

of cleanliness in rest rooms and lobbies of the hotels, which attract heavy footfalls, is a perpetual challenge. If the lobby has marble flooring, the task of its maintenance becomes all the more daunting. Removal of food stains and grease stains from marble flooring is a time consuming task. Granite flooring also needs great care. It is advisable to periodically clean granite surfaces with a natural stone or granite cleaner to maintain their shine. However, using harsh cleaners on granite flooring can damage the sealant and dull the finish. The Executive Housekeeper should also ensure that cleaning products and supplies are always adequate and appropriate floor cleaning measures are being employed for different

professional at par with international standards, in holistic terms. The training process should ideally be based on feedback of guest satisfaction. As far as housekeeping in hospitality industry is concerned, guest feedback should be ascertained and acted upon on a continual basis(ideally one hour before the guests’ check-out) , because only through guest feedback the Executive Housekeeper can decide for sure in which areas her/his idea and execution of housekeeping for the given hotel has been right or wrong.

types of floors of the hotels. Doing the cleaning up operations after a huge conference or banquet is over is no less challenging. And maintaining housekeeping standards amidst renovation is an arduous task indeed. The Executive Housekeeper should ensure that the efficiency and the motivational levels of her/his team are kept high, so that both bottom lines and attrition rates are not unduly affected. The paucity of skilled and qualified manpower in hotel housekeeping is always a challenge, which perhaps can be addressed through better pay packages, better social security and less erratic working hours. ■

A Challenging Profession The challenges of housekeeping are many. For example, the maintenance

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Cleaning By Gokul Bhagabati


ur visits to hotels and restaurants often evoke contrary images. As we enter the properties, the creatively designed lighting system, spic and span wall and furniture mesmerize our eyes and provide a welcome break from the dust ridden ride on the road. However, such an impression soon gets sullied as we start walking along the lobby and give a casual glance at the carpets. This is because the carpets of most hotels, even of some of the premium hotels, often look dirty, dingy, and in worst cases worn out. This is only natural because our feet literally fall on the carpets and they need to humbly bear the dirty burden of soil stains. Moreover, replacing the carpets frequently can affect operational cost a d v e r s e l y. Therefore


keeping the carpets clean and making them match the image of the property is a huge challenge for the housekeeping staff. Bonnet cleaning, although quite contentious, has been in vogue in the industry for quite sometime now. This method of cleaning is often applied by carpet cleaners as a sole cleaning method, and also as pre and post-treatment with hot water extraction (HWE). Bonnet cleaning is especially preferred because cleaning a commercial carpet with a bonnet requires very little moisture, thereby reducing the drying time significantly. In a similar manner to a rotary floor burnisher, bonnet cleaning uses cotton, rayon and/or polypropylene pad and a rotary shampoo machine as a low moisture method. A single machine can be used for both floor burnishing and bonnet cleaning. All one needs to do is to add pads to the machine. Although bonnet cleaning is generally viewed as a surface cleaning method, it can quite easily be used also as a deep cleaning method. For a property that is concerned about using water wisely, bonnet cleaning is a boon as it requires very little water. The method is useful for conserving water and creating less waste water. There are several ways of executing bonnet cleaning. One can start the process by putting the cleaner on the

bonnet head. Then the machine can be run over the carpet in short passes so that it can pick up much of the dirt. After the dirt is removed by the cleaner, one needs to follow up with passes with the extractor and water. In most cases the pads turns black with dirt. In case the carpet is extremely dirty, the same process can be repeated using a fresh pad.

Bonnet Cleaning Before HWE Al though bonnet cleaning after HWE is more common, in large properties bonnet cleaning before HWE can prove more effective. Prior to hot water extraction, bonnet cleaning can act as a solid pretreatment to HWE, by creating the much required stirring action that loosens up the dirt, and allows HWE full access to dirt. Extraction cleaning is not very useful when it comes to removing oil stains in carpets as its agitation is less aggressive. Bonnet Cleaning after HWE The primary advantage of bonnet cleaning after HWE is that it leaves the carpets dry. HWE generally leave the freshly cleaned carpets moist, if not wet, for quite some time, causing troubles to the customers and the housekeepers alike. If bonnet cleaning is done using a cotton pad after HWE, it easily soaks up excess water and speeds up the drying process. Moreover, doing the bonnet

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cleaning after HWE can also help correct the problem of wick-back problem of carpets with spots deep down. However, one should take enough care to use 100 percent cotton pads as pads from synthetics do not soak the water properly. An additional benefit of bonnet cleaning after HWE is that it removes the excess dirt that may be remaining in the carpet after the HWE process. W hen it comes to contract cleaning and maintenance of carpets in commercial buildings, bonnet is preferred also because it offers a low noise alternative to other machine cleaning methods. While it is quite effective for maintaining carpets where they tend to get soiled more,

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especially for carpets of elevators, hallways and elevators, bonnet cleaning method also does not require much equipment, making the process quite simple to handle. At the same time it can also cover a large area within a very short period of time. Moreover, HWE and bonnet cleaning also offers an affordable and cost-effective alternative. Bonnet cleaning can be adopted both as a stand-alone method and also as part of a cleaning regimen. However certain carpet manufacturers discourage the use of bonnet cleaning and may even threaten that warranties can get null and void in case the carpet cleaner use bonnets. ■

Identifying the Fibre

t is important to know what type of carpet you are cleaning. If someone makes a query about the fibre of the carpet, when you are already halfway through the cleaning, and you do not have a convincing answer, it would be quite embarrassing. The first thing one need to do is to find out whether the carpet fibre is synthetic or natural. With certain synthetics it is possible to do some aggressive cleaning. One can find whether the fibre is synthetic or natural by holding the sample tuft in a tweezer and bringing a flame (butane lighter) slowly to it. If the turf pulls away from the heat, it can be gauged that the fibre is synthetic and conversely if it doesn’t, the fibre is natural. To make sure one can go ahead with the flame and burn the tuft. If you would like you can even smell the odour, but it is advisable not to sniff it deeply. When the burned tuft cools down, and you find a noticeable residue on your fingers after crushing it in your fingers, you can be sure of having a natural fiber. If you find no or very little residue, then the fibre that you are having is synthetic. Once you identify the fibre, the cleaning process can proceed accordingly. It is easy to identify nylon fibre if you carry a dash of formic acid with you. If the turf dissolves when you drop a bit of formic acid, the fibre is most likely nylon. Cleaning problems are generally less acute with nylon. Nylon carpets generally lead the market share, although polyester and olefin carpets are also slowly gaining ground. In case of nylon carpets, it is very common to notice acid dye stains. Thankfully, these days nylon comes with added stain resistant. However, when wrong chemicals are used at the time of cleaning such resistant can become weaker. But nylon responds well to post-treatments of fabric protectors. Olefin is both chemical friendly and stain resistant. So one should not worry much about colour loss when the carpet is made of olefin. But one needs to be careful about using iron as it is sensitive to high heat. If the fibre of the carpet is natural, and especially if it is wool, it would be more sensitive to chemicals than synthetics. Therefore it is better to avoid ‘one suit for all’ method when it comes to cleaning of the carpets.



Making Business Out of



or a country like India where dust, sweat and soiling of garments and linen is a fast and natural consequence of the weather despite the occasional air-conditioned space, good laundry is more about health and cleanliness than clean


clothes. While the laundry industry is more than a century old in India, it is only in the last decade that the laundry trends in India have started reaching the global standards. The changing economic scenario in India has created avenues for new businesses. With the increasing nuclearisation of families and double

income households people are looking for new solutions to manage the balance between work and home. In this fast changing scenario, where people are running behind their respective deadlines, laundry service is one of the most required services to save precious time of the people. And over the years, the

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character of laundry service in India has shown perceptible change. In the good old days, even the elites used to take only their woolens to the laundry as the dhobi or at best the housemaid was thought to be competent enough to just soap the clothes, rinse, dry and iron them. Traditionally India has been having dry cleaning shops, which are mostly used for seasonal dry cleaning. In the first half of the twentieth century, there were very few players in the laundry business with a pan India presence. Bandbox appeared as a brand in the early 60s, much after Novex, which came into the scene earlier, in the 30s. Snow White followed later and they more or less shared the entire branded dry- cleaning and washing business in India.

Influencing Laundry Trends The sight of clothes dr ying in long rows by the river banks, popularly known as dhobi ghats, is still not a lost sight, yet the trends are slowly and steadily changing the face of the laundry business, at least in urban India. And the players in the laundry business, as in any other business, have to keep abreast of the international trends, as their religious adherence eventually makes a big difference to the business. Today, the success of commercial laundry services is evident from the increasing customer base and the volumes they are expected to generate in the future. The fast moving developments in the textile industry also contributed to the modernisation of the laundry services. The Indian textile industry grew at a rapid pace and the laundry requirement in that sector was a latent yet significant part of the business. In its necessity to keep up with the international competition, laundry systems were modernised and updated. While the modern trends in the hotels called for the need to have in-house laundries to serve the guests better, the latest trend in the hospitality sector of India is to outsource laundry services. However, there is another school of thought which believes that guests’

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laundry requirements in the hotels would rather be attended to inhouse, which is also in practice. Another major development in the laundry business was in the hospital sector. Clean linen was an antiseptic need for preventing cross infection. Thus many hospitals in India are gearing up to meet this apparently new, though long felt need for a separate hospital laundry.

Bottlenecks Remain The visible trends in the laundry business inc lude automation, outsourcing, linen rentals, strategic tie- ups, alliances of institutions for in-house or pool laundries and dry cleaning units. However, even today in India, despite the happening trends in the laundry business, the unorganised

laundry service providers, who are primarily engaged in traditional dr y-cleaning, are by and large unprofessional. Though it is evident that eventually the emphasis on smartly turned out linen, uniforms and garments will raise the levels of the laundries and dry cleaners, it is still a long way ahead for the common neighborhood drycleaner. The large laundr y and dr y cleaning establishments also do not have really efficient and scientific systems and equipment for handling their loads. One of the reasons impeding the overall growth of the laundry business is the high cost of laundry equipment. However, there are reasons to believe that the new entrants in the commercial laundry business in India will foster this trend towards smart laundries.

Factors to Consider in Commercial Laundry Like food and clothing, commercial laundry business is one of the most recession-proof investments. It has a typical ROI of 20 percent to 30 percent. It has been classified as one of the safest investments in the clean & hygiene industry and has several benefits. Besides laundry business can also ser ve as a great part-time job, requiring no prior experience. Commercial laundry business can be regarded as a very reliable and profitable investment requiring minimum supervision entailing



very low operating costs. But, this successful business can turn out to be unprofitable if things are not planned in proper order. While setting up a commercial laundry few things must be considered beforehand. Of course, it is recommended to have a well thought out and carefully drafted business plan. The next important step is determining what kind of a business entity it will be, while properly estimating the startup and operating costs. Selecting the right number and type of equipment suitable for your laundry operations is also essential. In the commercial laundry business, one of the most important factors to consider is the choice of the commercial laundry equipment, which can play a deciding role in the commercial laundry operations. The key equipments required for any commercial laundry service are commercial washers, dryers and stacked dryers. The correct choice of these commercial laundry equipments along with proper layout and operations plan can generate tidy and increasing profits. While purchasing commercial laundr y equipments, one can find that commercial dryer is an important purchase to go in for. Here are a few considerations you should adhere to while making the buying decision for a commercial dryer. Before purchasing the dryer, carefully ascertain the heat source. We must keep in mind that the gas heated machine will produce


at a more efficient rate, compared to a steam model. This is so as it costs more to produce steam that heats a steam coil in order to heat the air. On the other hand, a gas machine directly fires up with a heat source and permeates heats into the air. Also take into account of the configurations of the machines as they play crucial role in the workflow of the laundry. Do also consider the price and additional features, which can influence bottom lines for small laundry operations. While envisaging starting on a new laundry operation, besides the commercial equipments one also needs to evaluate the floor plan, which in turn influences the order and placement of various laundry equipments. In this regard, you can take the suggestions of the equipment distributors. They will be of great help as they have dealt with a wide variety of floor plan layouts. Consider the suggestions about what the right equipment mix will be for a particular floor layout. This is very much important as these days, the floor space is costlier than before and having a proper layout can help save some valuable space. In this way, one needs to effectively optimise the usable space. One of the suggestions for utilising valuable space is going in for a stack dryer as this entails more like putting two machines in the place of one. Doing this will help to free up space for other equipments like additional washers, snack vending machines, change

machines, etc. Easy access to machines is critical, and so is the availability of laundry carts and folding tables, for a comfortable customer experience contributes towards customer loyalty There are other points to consider too. Getting the necessary licenses and permits in order to operate legally is another important aspect to be dealt with carefully. Determining on how many staff to employ and their wages, etc. is the next important criterion. A prospective entrant in the laundry business must also keep it in mind that a commercial laundry requires 1500 to 5000 sq.ft. of retail space. It is better to select a shopping complex or an area with a large student, singles or tenant population to give a fillip to your laundry business. Determine how to advertise and market services in the locality where you envisage setting up your laundry business, and devise innovative ways to retain customers. Try using leaflets distribution, which may be effective. Also determine on the hours of operations. You can use a timer system to open and close the door as per a preset timing schedule.

Towards Green Laundries Closely associated with the laundry business is the chemicals and detergents market. W hile soap and washing powder took the country by storm in the early seventies, the specialised detergents, whiteners, fabric softeners and other varied chemicals are prevalently used in the laundries these days. However, many chemicals used in dry cleaning have received flak for disturbing the environment. Nowadays, many hotels have a policy of handling washing water and effluents in a secure and eco-friendly manner. Reduction of water and solvent consumption, control of waste water, management of distillation sludge are also important measures for operating an environmentally friendly laundry business. Since water is a major requirement for any laundry, recycling of water and water treatment should be given priority ■ in the laundry business.

Nov-Dec ’12



Agriculture By Swarnendu Biswas


ests are one of the major i mp e di m en t s t owa rd s agricultural production in India. In the country, approximately 18 percent of crop yield is lost to pest attacks every year. Therefore, introducing effective pest control measures in agriculture as well as in the warehouses is the need of the hour. In fact, it would not be an overstatement to say that effective and exhaustive pest control measures (together with great distribution network of food products, of course) can greatly facilitate in eliminating


the scourge of hunger from our country. One of the commonly used pest control measures in Indian agriculture is the use of chemical pesticides. Pesticides can be defined as a substance or substances or a mixture of substances of chemical or biological origin, which are used by humans to prevent, mitigate, repel or eliminate pests. In agriculture, chemical pesticides are applied to check the invasion of harmful pests like insects, rodents, weeds, etc. The conventional view of modern

agriculture is that the application of the right dosage of chemical pesticides (which we would refer to as pesticides from now on) can facilitate to prevent crop losses and thereby help to safeguard the economic security of the farmers. Pesticides are also used to protect the livestock from illnesses, which are caused by parasites. Pesticides are frequently used in grocery stores and food storage facilities to control the attack by rodents and insects that infest stored food products such as grain.

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PEST MANAGEMENT see that the pesticides are not without their ill effects on environment and health, and therefore indiscriminate use of pesticides is not at all justified. Prudent usage of pesticides in right dosages is needed to address this problem of food wastage, but that alone is not sufficient. Prevention of the entry of pests in warehouses should also be focused upon. An integrated pest management programme to address the huge food grain loss in India is the need of the hour.

The Baneful Possibilities However, indiscriminate and unscientific usage of pesticides can not only lead to pests developing pesticide resistance, thereby making a minor pest assume a huge challenge for the farmers, but can also lead to a series of environmental and health problems. Excessive use of pesticides can also leave their harmful residues in soil, water and air. There is absolutely no guarantee that a pesticide intended for pests would not cast its toxic influence on the surrounding human life and the environment. According to some research, more than 98 percent of sprayed insecticides and 95 percent of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species. Pesticides leave their influence on human beings, air, water, bottom sediments and food, which are not always healthy. For quite some time, the rampant use of pesticides in the Indian agriculture has made it a possibility that your grapes, apples, pineapples or pomegranates or for that matter the so called fresh vegetables to contain harmful pesticides for your consumption. Nowadays even pulses, rice, milk, egg, meat and fish show a considerable pesticide residue in them. The legacy of excessive and unregulated use of pesticides has led to pesticide residues in our food chain and environment. Succinctly, insensitive use of chemical pesticides can foster the culture of pest resistance to commonly used pesticides thereby

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leading to pest resurgence and outbreak of secondary pests; it can also lead to pesticide residues in food, air, water, soil thereby paving serious health problems and ecological imbalances. The World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme have estimated that every year, 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world suffer from severe pesticides poisoning, out of which 18,000 die. Some of the lethal chemicals present in some of the pesticides can lead to cancer, hepatic disorders, blindness, nervous disabilities and infertility among others. Besides that, the unchecked and unwarranted use of pesticides can even result in destroying of those insects and bacteria which have beneficial effects on human beings, which in turn does have adverse fallout on the delicate ecological balance. The excessive use of pesticides does have adverse effects on their non target organisms such as pollinators, parasitoids, and wild animals. Vandana Shiva, one of the greatest environmentalists of our times, rightly opines that agriculture which is excessively dependent on manufactured pesticides, “destroys the beneficial living organisms in the soil, which include beneficial bacteria and earthworms.” Earthworms greatly facilitate soil fertility and Indian agriculture cannot afford their fast elimination through rampant application of pesticides. From the above analysis, we can

Eco-friendly Pest Management The growing concern towards potential health hazards that can stem from the unscientific and uncontrolled use of synthetic pesticides has given an impetus to the integrated pest management exercise. Integrated pest management is potentially ecofriendly, unlike the administering of many of the conventional pesticides. IPM emphasises on the prevention of pest invasion through combining various methods of pest control in a harmonious blend, depending on their necessity in the given situation, which includes the use of nonchemical methods of pest control too such as biological, cultural, and mechanical pest control. Biological pest control can be an important part of integrated pest management. The use of biological method of pest control involves using other living organisms, which are natural predators of the given pests to prevent the spread of those targetted pests. It is much more environmentally friendly method of controlling pests than of using chemical pesticides as these living organisms are not prone to leave an environmentally baneful residue.


PEST MANAGEMENT These living organisms, which can intervene the life cycle of pests in a way so that crop damage is greatly reduced, are also called biopesticides. Some forms of fungi, bacteria and viruses can be good bio-pesticides. Bio-pesticides are typically microbial biological pest control agents whose manner of application is similar to that of chemical pesticides. They can be preserved and nurtured in laboratories and then can be infused into the field for facilitating pest control. There are also many beneficial insects which target and help eliminating pests from crops. Even birds like owls and sparrows can be a good bio-pesticide but though many birds can eat away pests, they themselves can cause damage to crops. But using owls and other birds of prey for tackling rodent population can be an intelligent way of biological pest control. Sparrows can eat insect pests. Besides leaving no harmful residues on the environment, biopesticides are more focused on their target pests and do not cause harm to beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees. The role of bees and butterflies in our eco-system cannot be overemphasised. Bees and butterflies with their pollinating potential are responsible for the survival of the flowering plants and without them the agriculture, the food & beverage industry and in fact, the entire eco-system may collapse. Besides these advantages, biopesticides are more cost-effective


than chemical pesticides too, on an average.

Cultural and Mechanical Options The cultural pest control in agriculture involves employing agricultural practices that make the environment unfriendly to the pests. Crop rotation and planting of trap crops are effective ways of cultural pest control in agriculture. Crop rotation can prevent pests because pests which attack certain types of crops or vegetables do not attack others. The changing of crops in a sequence tends to decrease the population level of pests, as their environment becomes unfriendly. For example, growing a crop that is not a host to a given type of pest for one season can significantly reduce the extent of that given pest in the

soil, thereby enabling the farmers to grow a crop susceptible to that given pest in the following season without resorting to soil fumigation. Trap crops help in attracting and capturing pest insects, where they can be managed and controlled effectively, and thus preventing or curtailing their movement to other beneficial crops. Adjusting the timing of planting or harvest is another cultural control method that can yield dividends. The mechanical control includes using phy sic al barr iers and/ or various mechanical trapping techniques which can prevent pests from attacking the crop. They range from simple hand-picking of pests to erecting insect barriers, to vacuuming, and tillage to prevent the pests’ breeding. Cold storage is an important form of mechanical pest control. Though it doesn’t capture pests, it prevents their development. Integrated pest management has scope for usage of all these abovementioned methods of pest control. IPM can be construed as the appropriate combination of cultural, biological, chemical and mechanical methods of pest control, depending on their necessity in the given situation, to address the problem of pests in an economical, effective and environmentally-friendly way. In fact, in IPM, chemical method of pest control through the application of conventional chemical pesticides ■ is often used as a last resort.

Nov-Dec ’12

PRODUC T P R E V I E W SCRUBBER DRIER Roots Multiclean Ltd (RMCL) has launched RootsScrub B450 - the battery version of 450 mm working width scrubber drier. The machine is extremely maneuverable, compactly built and easy to operate. It comes with ergonomic handle to suit operators of any height, LCD panel with display of hour meter and battery level. The operating panel is provided with soft touch buttons for selection of operation. The battery compartment is incorporated with safety switch which allows the machine to be charged only when the tank is open to ventilate batteries whilst charging. This machine comes with the onboard charger as standard and can be charged at any available plug socket. The brushes can be changed quickly without the need for any tools at the press of a button. RootsScrub B450 is provided with non-corrosive robust rotomould tank with 40 litres capacity for long hours of operation. The straight squeegee aids in optimum vacuuming of dirt water even when negotiating corners. It is designed to allow direct access to all points requiring daily maintenance to make it service-friendly. The RootsScrub B450 has a theoretical area performance upto 1800 m2/hr. RMCL is the first company in India to de¬sign and manufacture cable free, battery operated walk behind scrubber drier. The RootsScrub B450 comes with features to match international standards – Automatic Brush Release, LCD panel, On-board Charger, Protruding brush head, Optional Parabolic Squeegee and Safety cut out for batteries. In addition, to match International Standards, the RootsScrub B450 has also been designed keeping in mind Indian working environments and operators requirements. The batteries have been chosen to give the maximum run time possible with a choice of both wet and dry batter¬ies based on applications. Safety has always been the top of mind for RMCL and hence the RootsScrub B450 has been designed with utmost safety to operators and machine too. This Electrical Cable free machine is sure enough to delight the always demanding custom¬ers by giving hassle free operations in traffic areas and areas where cables have always been a constraint. Roots Multiclean Ltd.

WET/ DRY VACUUM CLEANER M7 vacuum cleaner - is specially designed for car seats shampooing. It has solution tank through which the solution/chemical can be sprayed on car seat, to make the seat completely wet. Rub the seats manually and remove the dirty water. M7 is a perfect way for cleaning, washing and drying of any type of floor and upholstery. It has kit with specific extraction accessories and removable solution tank. The machine also works as wet and dry vacuum cleaner, making it equally effective for Wet / Dry vacuum cleaning job. Aman Cleaning Equipments Pvt. Ltd. MARKETING COMPREHENSIVE FLOORING SOLUTIONS Inovic Floor Systems Pvt. Ltd. was founded in 2010 by JP Kawal, in New Delhi. Beginning with services of fixing, polishing & treatment of stones, today Inovic Floor Systems has grown remarkably in the market, both in terms of status and rank. The company brings state-of-the-art technology combined with well trained personnel that offers the market exhaustive flooring & maintenance solutions. One of the products marketed by Inovic Floor Systems Pvt. Ltd. is BK850, which is an advanced machine for grinding, polishing, scarifying, and bush hammering of large areas. BK850 with its powerful 20 Hp motor is a winning combination of power and versatility. It is very easy to manage and is handy, and is the natural choice for large areas. The BK850 encompasses a planetary head that is 100 percent metal geared and uses no belts. This advanced machine has variable speed control up to 1300 rpm. It is quick and easy to use; enabling tooling changes in seconds. Removable frontal wheels of the equipment permits its easy transport off and onto the worksite. Inovic Floor Systems Pvt. Ltd.


he information published in this section is as per the details furnished by the r e s p e c t i v e m a n u f a c t u r e r / d i s t r i b u t o r. I n a n y c a s e , i t d o e s n o t r e p r e s e n t t h e v i e w s o f Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.


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Nov-Dec ’12






Passionate About Housekeeping By Sharmila Chand

                        

How important in your opinion is housekeeping to hospitality?

In my opinion, housekeeping is the most important department in a hotel, which actually gives the ‘invisible’ touch like that of a magician to keep the property spic and span day in and day out, year after year. Housekeeping operations does not only act as the backbone of the hotel by maintaining and upkeep of the property, but also acts as a support center for all the revenue earning departments.

What is the method of housekeeping operations at your hotel?

The room cleaning being the most skilled job in housekeeping, is directly executed by the hotel staff, along with some parts of public area. However some specific jobs require external resourcing for the best results.

What are the new trends in housekeeping? Please comment on the latest housekeeping scenario

Housekeeping department in India has evolved over the last couple of years in terms of its mode of operations and its approach to get the jobs done. Latest observed housekeeping trend is to protect the environment and lessen the pollution. Going ‘Green’ is the latest tag line for us in order to contribute towards our globe and our responsible business initiative.

Please name crucial tools which have made the operations much easier in the recent times?

Undoubtedly the usage of laptops and softwares to monitor cost/ finance etc. has helped housekeeping to manage its business most effectively.


Housekeeping requires rigorous training. What are the new training trends practiced in hotels these days?

Nowadays hotels have a strategic approach towards training in terms of both ‘on the job’ and classroom session. Not only hotels are looking into achieving a specific training man hours but also are looking at its effectiveness through an appropriate audit system.

In what ways, training helps housekeeping in hotels?

Training in housekeeping basically serves twin objectives, that is to train the new human resources on the standards and processes of the organisation, and secondly to further strengthen the skill set/ competency/ effectiveness of each employee in order to maximise her/his contribution to achieve guest delight. Therefore to maintain the standards of the hotel brand, the training of the new employees and developing the skills of the skilled employees is quite essential in housekeeping.

How does India compare with the international scenario with regards to housekeeping?

India has developed housekeeping skills parallel to that of the international standards. Indian hotels not only have very high standards in terms of cleanliness and hygiene but also provide the guests the experience of ‘The Essence of India.’

What elements you take into account to recruit staff in the housekeeping department?

For obvious reasons it goes as per the

level you want to hire. Along with the basic qualification, the attitude towards learning and never say no are the most important criteria I look into during talent acquisition. Any important input you would like to give in the context of housekeeping in your hotel?

At Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar, we are following the green concept by placing the ‘Do not change’ linen card for bed linen and towels. In case the guest does not want the bed linen and/or towels to be changed she/he places it on the bed. We are also planting trees around the hotel periphery to add more greenery to our local area.

What are the challenges you have to face in fulfilling your job responsibilities?

Since the days I began my career there has been a sea change in the sensitivity and awareness among the guests, making it a constant challenge to deliver the guest expectations. The challenge of high attrition rate among workers and the challenge of training of unskilled staff are other important challenges in my job. In fact, these two factors are the consistent challenges for the Indian housekeeping industry at large. What do you like about your job?

There is a sense of pride and honour in maintaining the property to such high standards, which I enjoy. One of the most fascinating aspects about our job is that we get to meet so many people from different walks of life.

Nov-Dec ’12

Clean & Hygiene Review  
Clean & Hygiene Review  

Nov-Dec 2012