Pune bus service not too fussy about environment

Nov 30, 2017, 19:38 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

It's toxic air for Punekars for the next decade, courtesy an obstinate Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML)

It's toxic air for Punekars for the next decade, courtesy an obstinate Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML). In spite of the BEST Undertaking and an expert committee, set up by the Pune transport authority, recommending earlier this year that PMPML buy CNG buses, and not die­sel ones, as they are cost-effective and environment-friendly, an RTI application filed by Parisar, an organisation working for sustainable deve­l­opment, has revealed that PMPML has decided to buy 400 diesel buses.

PMPML Bus
PMPML Bus

In July, PMPML sought recommendations from BEST, which runs around 2,500 CNG buses in Mumbai, as of June 2017. Not surprisingly, BEST echoed the comm­it­tee's recommendations. PMPML, however, after announcing in April that it would purchase CNG buses for its new fleet, backtracked on the promise in August.

"The RTI application shows that it does not want to consider experts' recommendations," said Ranjit Gadgil, programme director, Parisar. "The tra­nsport authority does not public interest in mind." Punekars, however, are not about to give up without a fight. Since July, they have been throwing their support behind the initiative of no-diesel buses by signing an online petition on Air A!ert, a digital campaigning platform for air pollution. The campaign has over 900 supporters.

Noah D'Mello, a senior campai­gner, said, "Punek­ars have a chance to avoid years of poor air quality by prioritising cleaner public transport options. We hope our voices will be heard."

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