The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Municipal Limited (PMPML) would get Rs 2 crore from Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to prepare its business plan that would help it earn profits and better the existing transport service. However, the amount that has been allocated is being severely criticised by some of the PMPML directors.
Prashant Jagtap, director of PMPML committee, said, “The transport body is a part of the PMC as the civic body holds 60 per cent stakes in the PMPML. To overcome the present financial crisis, the PMC should have made a provision of over Rs 60 crore for the PMPML in the present budget. The transport body can offer efficient service only when it has a proper business plan and gets adequate funds.”
Dr Pravin Ashtikar, Joint Managing Director, PMPML, said, “We are getting Rs 2 crore from PMC in the new financial year. This plan is to be made soon by appointing a team of experts keeping the next 25 years in mind. Presently, PMPML is undergoing a major financial crisis and losses are running into Rs 23 crore.
The business plan may soon also take care of many factors including the source of funding from PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), rationalising existing routes and maintenance of buses. The plan will also suggest how buses can have a clean and friendly look.”
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had urged the PMC in a recent public meeting to have at least 2 per cent share in the budget for the improvement of PMPML.
If the civic body has a present budget of Rs 4,167 crore, then PMPML should get a minimum of Rs 83.34 crore for improvement. He also mentioned that the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) draft budget had earmarked Rs 38 crore for PMPML.
Justifying the Rs 2 crore allocation, Mahesh Pathak, PMC Commissioner and a director of the PMPML said, “The provision will be beneficial for us in the long term.”
Vishal Tambe, Chairman, PMC Standing Committee, said, “The Standing Committee had earlier supported the idea of making a long-term business plan for the PMPML which is running in losses.
We are taking decisions to make the service popular in all classes in the city. We had decided to purchase 10 air-conditioned buses by making an allocation of Rs 6.12 crore. Some of the buses will also be used for visits to the heritage sites in the city. This will help improve PMPML’s image.”
Jugal Rathi, founder president, PMPML Pravasi Manch, an NGO, said, “Though PMPML is independent from PMC, the business plan to be made for public transport should be complementary to its own Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) made in the past.
Secondly, the money earmarked for the business plan should not be diverted elsewhere by the PMC. Business plan is a basic requirement for any public transport body that caters to over 50 per cent of the transportation in the city.”
Not just a number game anymore
>> 1,835: Number of buses with the PMPML
>> 1,300: Actual number of buses that ply
>> 33,000: Number of buses required by the PMPML
>> Rs 550 crore: PMPML’s annual budget in 2012-13
>> Rs 23 crore: Loss suffered by the transport body