Hired as conductors, working as guards

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) is on a rocky road, a fact firmly nailed by a report from Central Institute of Road Transportation (CIRT) — a consultant of the central government. 

The findings establish that crucial data like date of joining, designation, total experience etc of many PMPML employees is absent.

Also, several director-level posts are lying vacant, there’s no proper chain of command, there’s confusion regarding duties, and all this is affecting the overall system of public transport in the city.

In a mess: PMPML was formed in 2007 after merging Pune Municipal Transportation (PMT) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Transport (PCMT). CIRT has observed in its study that the unification was merely superficial and there is no coordination between depots of Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune. File pic

The report has raised questions over the structure and functions of PMPML and has recommended immediate reforms. To improve efficiency and identify loopholes in the core framework of the transport body, CIRT was studying its staff composition. The first draft of the report, based on a detailed study, has recently been sent to PMPML’s board of directors.

The existing public transport body was formed in 2007 after merging Pune Municipal Transportation (PMT) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Transport (PCMT).

But according to the report, the unification is superficial. There is no coordination between depots of Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune. Moreover, three depots of Pimpri-Chichwad do not have details regarding date of joining, total experience etc of conductors and drivers.

“Staff structure of PMPML is pathetic. There should be specific criteria for appointment of people on important posts like depot manager, traffic manager etc.

Many unqualified persons have been allocated important positions, which is directly affecting the overall performance of the bus service. There are problems among the grassroots workers. Many of them had joined as conductors, but are currently working as security guards,” said a senior official of CIRT.

The report has advocated establishment of a legal department to deal with accident cases and demands for compensation, recruitment on vital posts like head of administration, HR manager, finance officer etc, and that revenue targets should be set for every depot to increase profit.

No comments
PMPML officials refused to comment on this report, saying that the top management was studying it.

“There is lot of political interference in appointments on top posts. We know about the flaws and problems in the staff structure. But for reforms and changes, we needed a third-party scientific study, and that is why PMPML appointed CIRT. We want some concrete amendments and propositions to improve the service,” said a senior PMPML functionary on condition of anonymity.

“We have sent the first draft of the report to PMPML officials. Their board of directors is expected to convey feedback on the findings. After going through their comments, the report will be revised and a final version will be submitted next week,” a CIRT official added.

Damning facts in report
>> Date of joining of many workers is missing

>> Several managerial posts are vacant

>> No adequate criteria for the selection of officers

>> No coordination between Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad depots

>> Duties and responsibilities of employees not specified

>> No legal department to handle accident cases and compensation

Sum & substance
>> Total no of depots: 10

>> No of employees: 9,500 (including drivers and conductors)

>> Buses: 1,851

>> Monthly expenditure on salary of staff: Rs 21 cr 

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