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PMPML wants to hike bus fare by Rs 5

Officials say it will help them cover Rs 30 L of the Rs 40 L loss the transport provider is incurring daily

Gear up for a costlier bus ride because the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is set to hike the fare soon. Of the 20 different issues that were supposed to be tabled at yesterday’s board meeting, fare hike was the most important one. But the meeting was deferred. PMPML officials said the primary reason behind the proposed hike is the hefty monetary loss of Rs 40 lakh, which the transport body suffers daily.


Last resort: PMPML officials say that despite undertaking cost-cutting measures, they have no option but to implement a fare hike to recover losses. File Pic

Rescheduled
“Today’s (Wednesday’s) meeting was rescheduled due to the ongoing code of conduct, implemented for the graduate and teachers MLC election in Pune. The primary reason we proposed the fare hike is to recover the monetary loss we are incurring daily. Factors like diesel and CNG price rise, shortage of spare parts and salary hike of PMPML officials and workers, among others, are responsible for the loss,” said PMPML Chief Executive Officer Mayura Shindekar.

He added that a few cost-cutting measures like purchasing lesser quantities of spare parts and fleet rationalisation are being undertaken so that the cost of maintenance goes down. “We are trying our best to recover losses, but we end up falling short. Hence we finally proposed a fare hike during the board meeting,” Shindekar said.

While the ticket price for the first stage of travel — 3 km — will remain untouched at Rs 5, the PMPML wants a hike of R5 for every successive 2 km. If implemented, the hike will help the transport body make around R30 lakh, leaving it with a deficit of Rs 10 lakh. The last fare hike was done in March 2013.

Commuterspeak
Commenting on the issue, PMP Pravasi Manch president Jugal Rathi said, “As per the Pune RTO, there are around 27 lakh vehicles in the city and every year the number increases by two lakh. This results in heavy air pollution, traffic jams and accidents.

The only answer to this problem is an efficient public transport system. In 2010, about 12.81 lakh commuters used PMPML buses but today their number has reduced to 10.68 lakh. While citizens expect good buses with higher frequency, the PMPML administration always puts forth the issue of fuel price rise to implement a hike.”

“PMPML lacks effective management and its officials are busy taking care of their own interests. So, we strongly oppose this fare. And, if implemented, we will strongly protest against it,” he added.

Delay continues

This PMPML board meeting, which was slated for April 2014, was initially rescheduled due to the code of conduct in force for the Lok Sabha polls and was set for May 17. This meeting was deferred due to the victory celebrations organised by the winning party in the city. The decision was taken to hold the meeting on May 21. However, this meeting too was rescheduled due to the ongoing code of conduct implemented for the graduate and teachers MLC elections. The date for the next meeting is yet to be finalised.

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