Purchasing 1,000 new buses seems like a distant dream for the Pune Metropolitan Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). Currently, the organisation is struggling to make sure that its 11,000 employees are paid their monthly salary. PMPML’s present fleet contains 1,700 buses, which is proving inadequate. Experts claim that the city require 33,000 buses.
When asked about expanding the fleet, a harried PMPML Associate Director Dr Pravin Ashtikar remarked, “Forget about purchasing 1,000 new buses, we have bigger problems like making provisions for the monthly salary of our 11,000 staff and employees.”
“We are running a monthly loss of Rs 6 crore. We have a total income of Rs 36 crore and expenditure of Rs 42 crore per month. It is difficult to spent 52 per cent of the earned money only on salaries. Worse, we have to pay the Rs 6 crore in overdraft to the bank.” On May 16, MiD DAY carried a report highlighting the outstanding dues that PMC had to pay to the PMPML (PMC agrees to pay dues of Rs 32 crore to PMPML).
The civic body officials had principally agreed to pay the amount after proper checking of the calculations. There was no response from the civic body for the same. “It is very difficult to run a public transport system with PMC not paying the amount of free or concessional bus passes for their employees and school students in the last year. PMPML still has to recover a total of Rs 140 crore in dues from PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) for the passes of their employees and students since last five years,” said RN Joshi, chief managing director, PMPML.
The other side
“The monthly losses of Rs 6 crore appear to be fictitious as seven out of 11 members in the PMPML Director Board are from PMC and PCMC,” said Jugal Rathi, President, PMPML Pravasi Manch. “Why did PMPML not stop issuing passes to both the municipal corporations from the second year when there was no payment from them? There is no management in the PMPML Board.” The issue of floating of tenders for the 1,000 new buses may come up in the next meeting of PMPML Director Board in June. “Floating of tenders about purchasing 1,000 buses is yet to be finalised and may be put up in the next PMPML Director’s meeting,” Ashtikar said.
PMPML ON A SLIDE
The monthly income of PMPML has gone down after the 15 per cent hike in bus tickets starting from February 2013.
>> January 2013: Rs 1.14 crore (Total passengers: 11.17L)
>> February 2013: No information available
>> March 2013: Rs 1.13 lakh (Total passengers: 10.11L)