“As a frequent flyer landing at the Lohegaon airport by late night flights, I am forced to shell out a considerable amount to ply by a taxi or an autorickshaw to get to my residence in Deccan. I have no option but to take an auto for which I pay Rs 300 for the 13-km distance. Apart from overcharging, the auto drivers are arrogant too. I don’t understand why PMPML authorities don’t ensure that their bus service is in force from the airport till 10.30 pm,” asked Jitendra Khasnis, swimming coach and director of Astitva Life Saving Society.
After facing a similar predicament like Khasnis on arriving in the city during nighttime, several commuters are now urging the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) to improve its late-night bus service from Lohegaon airport to Deccan after they paid exorbitant fares for travelling via other modes of transport.
Sagar Rahurkar, a management professional, said hundreds of Puneites would benefit if the bus service were efficient. “If PMPML provides well-organised bus connectivity, it would help us a lot. If required PMPMPL can charge a little more for the late night trips so that we are ensured a reliable service,” said Rahurkar.
Adding to the woes of the flyers is also the discrepancy in the bus schedule published on PMPML’s website and the bus timing displayed at the airport. “The timetable put up near the airport canteen clearly mentions that the last bus available from airport is at 8.30 pm,” Khasnis complained.
The bus schedule published on the PMPML website, however, claims that the last bus service available from airport to Deccan is at 10.30 pm. But, a disclaimer is also present on the website, which states: “The timetable is based on planned schedule. Timetable is valid only when entire staff and buses are available.”
When MiD DAY contacted the helpline number, a PMPML executive insisted that the late night service was available. “There may have been a load on other routes or less response on the route due to which bus may have got cancelled,” he said.
Sunil Gavli, traffic manager of PMPML, said, “All buses are running are per the published schedule.”
What to do?
If you also face the same problem, you can register a complaint with the PMPML via phone or email. Social Activist and Convener of Sajag Nagrik Manch Vivek Velankar said, “Commuters who wish to complain and demand resumption of buses on their route from the airport should contact Joint Managing Director Praveen Ashtikar or send an email to email@example.com.”
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