Despite adding 300 buses to its fleet in the last 12 months, citizens continue to experience commuting woes as more buses are going off the roads due to lack of adequate maintenance
Despite the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited adding 300 busses to its existing fleet of 1,750 buses in the last one year, citizens continue to experience commuting woes as the number of buses going off the roads has increased drastically this year. While 460 buses remained non-operational in May 2013, the number stood at 660 this May.
One of several new buses added by PMPML to its existing fleet. File pic
PMPML Joint Managing Director Pravin Ashtikar said, “About two months ago, 50 buses were vandalised. The PMPML lacks money to repair the broken buses. As per the high court’s directive, we can’t ply buses without fixing the glass. This is the reason why the number of non-operational buses has reached 660. We are trying our best to put these buses back onto the roads at our earliest.”
He stated that the transport body requires R6 crore to repair the 660 buses that are off the road. “We recently held a meeting with the civic officials and were assured of funds. If we get the money in the next three months, we can at least repair and press 300 buses into action,” he said.
‘Focus on quality’
Experts said the transport body must implement measures to improve the quality of service provided to the commuters. They even claimed that the number of people travelling via PMPML buses has decreased from 9.9 lakh in May 2013 to 9.67 lakh in May 2014.
“On any given day, over 300 services are cancelled. Thus leaving commuters in the lurch. Citizens have started assuming that the PMPML no longer cares for them. There is a belief that the authorities either want to wind up the transport body or hand it over to a private contactor. Despite adding 300 buses, the number of commuters has remained stagnant. This highlights inefficiency of the PMPML. We have complained to the state and the civic body about the same,” said Jugal Rathi, president of PMP Pravasi Manch.
He added that better service from the PMPML would help ease traffic congestion across the city, as more and more people would start using the public transport instead of private vehicles. “It is time PMPML officials ensure that commuters no longer face hardship.”
No of buses added by the PMPML in the last one year
No of buses that were off the roads in May, 2014
Total number of buses the PMPML now has in its fleet