2nd PMPML bus theft in 7 months leaves authorities red-faced

PMPML plans to install hi-tech vehicle tracking system, but project held up owing to poll code of conduct

For the second time in the past seven months, a PMPML bus was stolen, prompting authorities to seriously consider installing an electronic-based vehicle tracking system as soon as possible.

The Hadapsar terminus from where a similar PMPML bus was stolen

This time the bus was stolen from the Hadapsar bus depot and was found two days later at a remote place near the Somatane Phata on the Pune-Mumbai highway.

The police are still clueless about the thieves.

No security
Currently, the PMPML depots have no security system in place to keep track of their buses.

The bus which was driven off by unidentified people from Hadapsar was worth Rs 27 lakh and was in a good

Seven months ago, five youngsters stole a PMPML bus from the Kothrud depot just to take a joyride. They were all arrested the next day.

R N Joshi, managing director and CEO, PMPML, agreed such incidents could not be ignored. "We are trying to see the lacunae in our present security system.
A proposal to install an electronic-based vehicle tracking system has been approved for the 600 new fleet, each of which is worth Rs 27 lakh.
We can't install the system now due to the election code of conduct which is still on," he said.

Satish Kulkarni, joint director of PMPML, however, ruled out the security loopholes in the depots and said that the Hadapsar theft had happened at the terminus.

"We cannot ensure security at the terminus all the time. The motive of such incidents will be determined during the police investigation. Then we can ascertain how to go about the security measures in the future."

An FIR was lodged by the bus driver Rohidas Raut with the Hadapsar and the Pune Rural police. The bus, which was found in Somatane Phata, was not damaged.

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