Due to an acute shortage of tickets of values Rs 5 and above, conductors are handing out many tickets of smaller denominations instead of the one ticket, to commuters these days
A sudden shortage of tickets has been has put commuters of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) in a strange predicament these days.
TOO LITTLE TO GO AROUND: The tickets issued to the commuters by PMPML conductors. Pic/Mohan Patil
For instance, if they ask for a ticket of Rs 20, the conductor gives them 10 odd tickets of Rs 2 each, or a bunch of tickets of small value amounting to the value of Rs 2, in various other permutations and combinations.
And that’s not all. More than 80 per cent of the 1,664 e-ticketing machines that were purchased last year are now defunct. These problems are leading to heated arguments between bus conductors and commuters on a daily basis.
“Our conductors are ready to give any type of ticket, but if they are not provided with tickets by the PMPML, they cannot give them to commuters. Every day commuters fight with conductors when they are handed a bunch of tickets of small values. This shortage of tickets is being experienced across 10 depots,” said the vice-president of the PMPL workers’ union, Ashok Jagtap.
Losses to boot, as well
It costs the PMPML 13 paise for each e-ticket and 15 paise for each printed ticket. If for a single journey, multiple tickets are given to a single commuter, the cost of printed and e-tickets shelled out by the PMPML also rises.
PMP Pravasi Manch president Jugal Rathi said, “This is an artificially created shortage of tickets by the PMPML administration, and through this they want to acquire more funds from the government.
Most of the officials, and even ground level staff, are involved in such issues. The commuters are suffering from it, as it is difficult to keep track of a bunch of tickets. A third party inquiry should be conducted on the entire body. The e-ticketing machines should be repaired immediately and brought into use, to reduce the losses of PMPML.”
When contacted, the PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said, “Yes, there is a shortage of tickets, but we are managing to provide tickets to all the depots on a daily basis. We will be setting up a procedure soon to provide regular tickets to all the depots and resolve this.”