Learning a lesson from MSRTC driver Santosh Mane's maniacal ride through the city streets that killed eight persons and injured 30 last month, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is taking measures to destress its staff.
Class act: Drivers and conductors from the Hadapsar depot
attend a spiritual session. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
The authorities of the city bus service have oragnised an eight-day spiritual session to help drivers manage stress and maintain clam at the Hadapsar bus depot. Kumar Thorave, manager, Hadapsar depot, said that the drivers needed to navigate through chock-a-block narrow lanes of the city and they were exposed to abusive motorists who would often enter into a verbal duel over right of the way.
Then there are rowdy passengers, jaywalkers and so on. "This is why the PMPML feels that the drivers need to learn the art of keeping their cool even in an adverse situation. As buses pass through narrow lanes, a lot of motorists tend to overtake and if not given right of the way and they turn abusive.
At times, it becomes difficult for our drivers to maintain their calm. But taming your temper is the key in such testing times. So we decided to hold a series of lectures on controlling anger and managing stress. Now, we shall hold such lectures at regular intervals."
A driver who attended a lecture said, "We are made to work continuously under pressure. The buses are poorly maintained and driving through crowded roads further adds to our tension. We are poorly staffed and due to this we cannot avail leaves.
And if at all, we take leave in dire urgency, we are pressurised by authorities to join work at the earliest. I think these lectures will help us learn techniques of stress management." Hadapsar Depot, which has a workforce of 850 drivers and conductors, was recently in news after a driver attempted to commit suicide. The driver in question has accused his senior of harassment.
The Hadapsar bus depot is one of the major PMPML depots in city. It has a fleet of 207 buses, which ply on 35 routes in two shifts. They make over 182 trips in a working day.