Running a bus service with rundown vehicles
More than 500 PMPML buses remain off roads on any given day, while hundreds of others break down every month
Low frequency in service owing to shortage of buses is considered the key conundrum for Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML).
However, MiD DAY has found that the transport body is failing miserably in optimally utilising available resources. Every month around 700-1,000 PMPML buses break down during a journey, and 500 of them have to stay off the roads every day because of maintenance issues. The transport body has a total of 1,851 of these vehicles at its disposal.
One more down: A broken down PMPML bus parked on the side of the road. File pic
Buses cannot be maintained with so few workers,” said AN Anpur, secretary, PMPML workers union.
Deepaksingh Pardesh, PRO, PMPML, recently said that the organisation has recruited several conductors, and 195 mechanics will be hired in the next two months. A selection procedure has been initiated and many applications have been received.
“Breakdowns and hundreds of buses are being unable to ply directly affect the frequency of trips. PMPML management always complains about the number of buses, but they are not able to maintain the ones available. After complaining several times last year, PMPML had made provision of Rs 2 crore for spare parts. However, the management has not disclosed the audit report on the money, which we had demanded in last year. It is clear that they don’t want to improve the service. All these instances indicate that they are aiming for privatisation,” said Jugal Rathi, president, PMP Pravasi Manch.
As per norms of the Central Institute of Road Transportation (CIRT), buses that are 10 years old or have travelled more than seven lakh kilometers, should be scrapped to avoid heavy maintenance charges and for safety of the passengers. Currently, PMPML has about 200 buses that are at least ten years old.
>> Total number of buses: 1,851
>> Total number of buses on the road: 1,313
>> Off-road buses: 538
>> Number of breakdowns in January 2012: 721
>> Number of breakdowns in January 2013: 955
>> Number of ten-year-old buses: 200