Commuters' organisation blames poor maintenance, lack of quality checks by the public transport body for the snags; officials say they are trying their best to improve services
Though the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has added new buses to its existing fleet, technical snags on a regular basis have inconvenienced commuters greatly. These buses were added to reduce commuting woes of citizens using the public transport.
Better equipped: Old buses at the Swargate depot. While these vehicles have a seating capacity of 44 each, new ones are limited to just 25 seats
The PMPML has taken 650 buses on contract, of which 250 are currently plying on the city streets. “We have sent over 15 complaints about the new buses breaking down on various routes in the city in the last two months. The maintenance of these buses is the primary issue. The PMPML officials should have tested these buses before adding them to transport body’s existing fleet. The contractors only deliver buses to the PMPML, but their maintenance, staff training and other aspects are never taken into consideration by any of the two,” PMP Pravasi Manch president Jugal Rathi said.
He alleged that despite repeated complaints, the PMPML administration has neither taken concrete steps to fix the problems nor has it acknowledged their complaints. “Quality of the buses is important. They may look neat from outside, but from inside they are dirty. Commuters suffer because contractors don’t maintain these vehicles,” Rathi said.
One of the major drawbacks of the new buses is their seating capacity, which is less in comparison to the old ones. While the old buses have a seating capacity of 44 each, the new ones are limited to just 25 seats. Moreover, the new buses lack reserved seats for women, senior citizens and physically challenged commuters. The conductors in these buses do not have ticketing machines and hand out tickets the old-fashioned way. Moreover, these buses can be seen parked all over the city, haphazardly, due to lack of adequate parking space available with the PMPML.
Commenting on the issue, PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said though these buses were hired on contract, they were brought in directly from the manufacturing units to the depots.
“The buses come with standard specifications and we don’t perform any kind of quality checks.
The complaints received from commuters are always taken into consideration, and we try our best to improve our service. Our engineering team monitors the maintenance of the new buses.”