Shortage of buses has always been a major concern for commuters and is considered the root cause of poor public transport in the city. Now a study by the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) has come up with the startling finding that even an additional 1,000 buses will not make any difference to the situation since it is the fundamentally flawed structure of the PMPML organisation that is behind most of its problems.
The study concluded that there was a need to completely restructure the PMPML, effecting changes from top to bottom if commuters were to feel the difference in service. Currently, the CIRT is conducting an in-depth study on the PMPML, including its organisational structure, its staff and their roles and responsibilities. Based on the findings of the study, CIRT will submit a report suggesting reforms.
“In 2007, the PMT of the Pune Municipal Corporation and the PCMT of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation merged and formed a joint body called the PMPML, but the fact is that only a physical merger occurred between these two public transport bodies and it was not a properly planned affair,” PMP Pravasi Manch president Jugal Rathi said.
“Hence, till now there is no proper co-ordination between Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. According to a state government resolution, the PMPML is expected to appoint a full-time director and HR and finance managers. But in the last five years, it has not gone in for recruitments for vital posts. Other important positions in the organisation are not according to the proper qualifications.”
A senior officer of transport said the PMPMl lacked a robust chain of command. “There is no proper hierarchy and structure in the staff and organisation, with many vital posts vacant and many officers holding two to three charges,” the officer said, requestoing anonymity. “A huge gap exists between the top management and the workers and it is creating lots of problems.
Posts like general manger should be created to bridge the gap between the employees and the board of directors. The roles and responsibilities assigned to senior level officers are very confusing. Today, depot managers don’t have the right to take depot-level decisions.” One of the directors of PMPML, Dr Pravin Ashtikar, said the CIRT was expected to submit its final report towards the end of the month.
“The PMPML’s board of directors wants some concrete reforms and suggestions to improve the service,” Ashtikar said. “In the last few years, staff numbers have been increasing along with the infrastructure and the number of buses. So, there should be a third party for the scientific study of the organisation in order to identify loopholes and suggest solutions or reforms. The final report will be submitted to the board of directors and they will decide which reforms should be implemented.”
>> Proper hierarchy missing in PMPML organisation
>> Accident section of PMPML does not have any equipment
>> No qualification criteria for officers
>> Many officers hold more than two charges
>> Many vital positions vacant