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PMPML action: Faulty Tata Motors buses draw Rs 39 lakh fine

Over 100 of the 120 buses found with non-operational transport management systems.

pune Updated: Jun 19, 2018 16:24 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
The PMPML has so far procured 120 midi buses from Tata Motors, out of the total 200 buses purchased from the company.(HT File Photo)

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has fined Tata Motors Rs 39 lakh for the failure of Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS) in the newly-inducted midi buses by the department.

The PMPML has so far procured 120 midi buses from Tata Motors, out of the total 200 buses purchased from the company. The fine has been imposed owing to the failure of the ITMS systems in these inducted buses.

Nayana Gunde, chairperson and managing director of PMPML, said, “We have been monitoring the failure of ITMS in the midi buses for a very long time. According to the norms, Tata Motors is mandated to install as well as maintain the ITMS in the midi buses. However, they have failed to do so for a very long.”

She said, consequently the PMPML has taken action against the company and has imposed a fine of Rs 39 lakh.

ITMS is an in-bus surveillance system along with GPS-based vehicle tracking systems, where realtime tracking of all moving buses for operations control, arrival and departure information and disaster management can be done.

It also has passenger information systems, which include web-based realtime, expected time of arrival and departures, along with LCD displays at bus stations with automatic announcement systems.

Rohit Rathod, MBA student, said, “I take the bus to Pune railway station from Kothrud depot daily. Many buses do not have indicators of the routes the buses are plying on. They just have a small board kept in the corner which is not visible at all.”

Indicators are a must in city buses. Also, it is even more difficult for senior citizens. Many a times, elderly people have to get down from the buses for sitting in the wrong one.

“ITMS systems stipulate modernised way of mechanism, and in a heavily populated city, like Pune, such systems are a must,” he added.

“We have a record from over 100 buses where the systems have failed consistently. If the systems are not operational for one day, the fine is Rs 100. Accordingly, the fine has been charged to the company. We have sent a formal notice to Tata Motors last week,” Gunde said.

The public bus service chief added that if the fine is not paid, the amount will be deducted from the total cost of the contract of procuring 200 midi buses.

Activists irked as PMPML begins maintenance of 200 old buses

While the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has begun the process of maintenance of over 200 diesel buses, citizen activists, on the other hand, have suggested scrapping them rather than wasting money on maintenance.

PMPML official said, “In the last few years, we have observed that the number of breakdowns of our buses increase during monsoons. If a bus breaks down on the road, it leads to huge traffic chaos and causes inconvenience to the commuters.”

“Taking a serious cognisance of these facts, we have decided to improve the condition of these buses on an immediate basis. While some of the buses will be rebuilt, other buses will go through a routine maintenance,” the official added.

However, the PMPML’s attempt to help residents has not been welcomed by many; instead, they claim the effort of PMPML is absolutely futile.

Satish Chitale, member of a city-based NGO PMP Pravasi Manch, said, “The 200 diesel buses which will undergo maintenance are 12 years old. Ideally, diesel buses should be scrapped after eight years. However, the authorities are wasting money on the maintenance process, instead of just scrapping them.”

Authorities should focus on increasing the number of buses in its fleet, added Chitale.

Responding to requests of the residents, PMPML official said, “We totally understand the urgency of adding new buses to our fleet. We are working in this direction as well. Next year, we have planned to induct 500 electric buses and 400 CNG buses in a phase-wise manner.”

He added, “However, if we scrap these 200 buses now, it will create a huge scarcity of buses in the city. Maintenance of these buses is currently the best solution to avoid breakdowns and offer good services to the residents.”

PMPML currently has 1,405 buses in its fleet, which handles over 10,00,000 passengers daily.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 16:17 IST