Out of 336 buses of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT), only 200 are running on roads currently and commuters seem to be feeling the pinch. This is evident from the numerous calls that the NMMT helpline has been receiving since the onset of monsoons this year.
Commuters have been calling in to complain about bus breakdowns and enquire about bus timings, as most buses are running late. Many buses are not on the roads as they have been sent for maintenance work.
Shirish Aradwad, executive engineer at NMMT, said that they planned to get many buses repaired before the monsoons but because of the protest by shopkeepers against Local Body Tax (LBT) it was not possible.
He further added, “However,the buses which have already been repaired and brought to the depot are in far better condition than before, and commuters would definitely realise it once they start plying on roads soon.”
Many spare parts for the buses had been unavailable in the market, as the their sellers had kept their shops shut during the LBT protests.
The 336 NMMT buses include 30 AC buses. Also, of the remaining, 161 run on CNG and 145 on diesel. A tender to repair 85 buses has been passed, of which 24 buses have already been repaired and brought to the depot.
Talking about the helpline, the NMMT official manning it said that they receive a lot of calls from commuters between 8 am-11 pm and 4 pm-6.30 pm, which are peak hours. “During monsoons, people call more frequently than usual. At other times of the year there are barely a few calls,” said the official.
The NMMT has printed around 150 stickers, which they plan to paste on the buses, displaying the helpline numbers for commuters.
Tenders have been floated for about 136 NMMT buses which require repairs immediately