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Dearth of e-machines forces conductors to punch tickets

It seems that the e-ticketing facility used by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has been hit by some serious misfortune.

While in February, the entire e-ticketing system was down due to a technical snag, the facility got mired in controversy after Bhosari Police lodged a case against a conductor for allegedly using an outdated machine.


Problem with the punch: The dearth of e-ticketing machines is forcing bus conductors to issue punched tickets like before. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

And now, around 40 per cent of e-ticketing service has been kept on hold due to shortage of around 600 machines, thereby forcing bus conductors to use traditional ticketing methods and issue punched tickets to passengers.

Satyajeet Mokashi, a bus conductor on Sinhagad Road route, said, “We have been informed that e-ticketing system has been hit, and have been asked to use manual ticketing system. The switch over has been made in the last three days.”

Mokashi said, “The e-ticketing system was comparatively better while handing over the total collection of the day and the number of sold tickets. Now, I am spending half an hour every evening to give the details of the money and number of passengers who have purchased the tickets.”

D A Pardeshi, spokesperson of PMPML, said, “Currently 1,500 e-ticketing machines are in use and we need at least 600 more.” However, sources revealed that there is total requirement 2,000 to 2,200 such machines and 1,200 to 1,300 machines are in use. A PMPML clerk, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said, “The shortage of e-ticketing machines is being felt at Narveer Tanaji Wadi, Bhosari, Nigdi, Pimpri, Kothrud and Hadapsar.”

Jugal Rathi, President, PMPML Pravasi Manch, said, “It is really an issue of concern if 40 to 50 per cent of the e-ticketing machines are not in working condition. These machines are certainly useful for giving real time information for PMPML management. The e-ticketing contractor should be taken to task by conducting an inquiry of the e-ticketing system and the contract should be discontinued if the contract company is found guilty.”

R N Joshi, chairman and MD of PMPML, said, “E-ticketing has some problems, but it is absurd to ask for the scrapping of the contract because of that. These are all technical problems and we can’t terminate the contract for this. Our aim is to improve and make the system more user-friendly and sustainable. Scrapping of e-ticketing is not the solution, as the problem can be resolved soon.”

E-ticketing controversies
>> A PMPML bus conductor was arrested in 2009 for fraudulently using e-ticketing machine
>> Bhosari police found bogus e-ticketing machine being used for distribution of tickets at Pimpri and arrested two persons
>> Charges of some PMPML bus conductors joining hands with the e-ticketing contractor were made in the incidents of issuing group ticketing to passengers
>> E-ticketing machine at Bhosari showed a wrong figure of Rs 9 lakh on a recent trip 

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