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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

122 unfit PMPML buses risk passengers’ lives on Pune roads

The buses have been approved fitness certificates from the Pune Regional Transport Office

pune Updated: Apr 26, 2019 14:18 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
A bus which broke down in Katraj road being towed on Thursday.
A bus which broke down in Katraj road being towed on Thursday.(Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
         

Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) which was operating 400 buses which were unfit for plying on the city roads has now begun to withdraw all of these from operation. While 100 buses have been scrapped, 122 buses which are more than 12-years-old are still plying on the city roads.

The 122 buses have been approved fitness certificates from the Pune Regional Transport Office.

According to Nayana Gunde, PMPML chairperson, the public transport body has already scrapped 100 such buses so far and has a schedule to scrap the remaining 300 as well.

She said, “While we have scrapped 100 such buses from our fleet, the rest will be systematically scrapped as the new buses are inducted. Meanwhile, these buses are kept out of operations until a situation of emergency.”

Gunde said, “There were 400 buses in our fleet which were 12-years -old and have crossed a run of 8, 40, 000 km. Abiding by the PMPML’s guidelines which says that such buses should be either scrapped or withdrawn we are taking steps in the direction.”

PMPML in its board of directors meeting in 2017 had passed a resolution that buses which have completed over 12 years of operations and have completed 8, 40, 000 kilometres run should not ply on the city roads.

“Even when there is a condition of urgency, we only ply those buses which have a legitimate fitness certificate from the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO),” Gunde added.

Hindustan Times in January and April had highlighted the fact that there are 400 buses plying on the city roads which are in bad condition and need to be scrapped immediately.

Sanjay Raut, deputy RTO officer, when confronted about the issue, said, “We are aware of the fact that there are PMPML buses that are currently operational even when their life span is over. However, we cannot ask the department to scrap all these buses at one time. This will only lead to further problems.”

“We are told that only those buses ply on roads which have appropriate permissions to do so,” Raut added.

Raut has assured Hindustan Times that he will look into the matter further and take an appropriate follow-up from the PMPML.

PMPML to connect 11 depots via e-facility

Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has decided to connect storerooms of 11 depots in the city through Internet facility. The storerooms will be monitored by the head office at Swargate.

According to PMPML officials who requested anonymity, “The basic reason to connect all the storerooms is to facilitate a transparent flow of information of the spare parts in the respective depots. There have been cases in the past where some of the depot managers did not provide correct information of the spare parts in the storerooms, owing to which new spare parts had to be bought.”

However, later it was revealed that the spare parts were there in other depot and the purchase was not needed, said officials.

This could have been avoided with the help of a proper and transparent e-facility which will facilitate better communication within the department, officials added.

The Central Institute of Road Transport will help the city transport provider in the installation of the e-facility in all the depots in the city. A detailed presentation has been given to the PMPML by the Central Institute of Road Transport and the work of installation of this facility is expected to begin in the next two months.

Meanwhile, PMPML currently has 11 operational bus depots viz. Swargate, Narveer Tanaji Wadi, Kothrud, Katraj, Hadapsar, Market Yard, Pune Railway Station, Bhakti Shakti (Nigdi), Nehrunagar (Pimpri), Sadgurunagar (Bhosari), Wagholi.

Also, PMPML does not have sufficient bus depots which leads to as many as half of the buses being parked on the streets. According to a Central Institute of Road Transport report, PMPML needs 18 depots as opposed to 13.