The long-pending issue of purchasing and introducing 100 air-conditioned buses worth Rs 60 lakh each to improve connectivity to Hinjewadi, the city's IT hub, is likely to see the light of day soon.
Representation pic/ Thinkstock images
The Pune Mahangar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has decided to appoint private players who would invest in procurement of the vehicles, operate them and pay a royalty amount (per kilometre each bus daily) to the transport body. A city bus runs at least 200 km per day.
According to sources, the PMPML will decide on the royalty rates next week and is yet to disclose names of private players. Cerisil Management Services, an internationally renowned consultancy for public transport that was roped in by the PMPML last month, suggested the transport agency to embark on the Public Private Partnership model to make the public transport profitable.
According to sources, the total cost of the buses which works out to Rs 60 crore shall be recovered by private operators and PMPML won't have to invest a single penny on the vehicles. Confirming the development, R N Joshi, CMO and director, PMPML, said that revenue collection should be made by private operators.
"By adopting the PPP model, we are saving our money spent payment of salary of drivers and conductors. W are saving the repairing and maintenance cost of the vehicles," said Joshi.
As per the tender notice issued last month, some 12 private operators had approached the transport agency and had a pre-bid meeting to finalise its details. According to PMPML sources, Rs 12.50 lakh shall be charged as an initial capital from each operator for running the service. "The 100 AC buses shall have a 25 per cent extra fair and we shall get a royalty amount per kilometer from each bus. The exact royalty amount shall be finalised in the next week," Joshi added.
Hinjewadi Phase I, II and III shall be connected with at least 10 routes from various parts of the city, said Sunil Gawali, Transport Manager, PMPML. The routes include Pune Station, Nigdi, Hadapsar, Wagholi, Kothrud, PMC Main Building, Katraj, Kondhawa and Baner. "The 43-seater AC bus will also benefit common passengers headed for from these routes," Gawali said.
The plan of introducing AC buses was initiated by Dilip Bund, former divisional commissioner of Pune and former CMD of PMPML, in June 2010. "I wanted to encourage the executive class people, who use their personal cars to and from office, to use public transport. Now with the AC buses set to ply on roads then can use these buses regularly instead of using their own cars or company buses. I am sure, my dream shall come true soon," he said.