PMPML offers its buses for hire to firms to generate revenue during lockdown
With the lockdown putting a stop to all public transport services, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is staring huge losses amounting to approximately Rs 1 crore 40 lakh daily. To generate some revenue, the public transport body has put up a proposal to private and semi-private firms, government-run institutions and information technology (IT) companies in areas like Chakan, Hinjewadi, Bhosari, Chinchwad and MIDC to opt for hired buses from the PMPML.
At least 1,600 buses are parked on the roads, while only a handful of them ply on the road for essential services staff. “Ever since the lockdown, 1,600 buses are off the road and there is no revenue. We are losing Rs 1 crore 40 lakh per day and hence the management, and chairman and managing director (CMD) Nayana Gunde has decided to propose hiring of the buses for companies,” said Anant Waghmare, traffic manager, PMPML.
He added, “If the companies wish to use PMPML buses, we are offering them on hire at the rate of Rs 83.50 per km, and with a minimum run of 2000km per month. This decision is to sustain our transport since the buses are not plying. We are also offering them choice of buses - 25 seater or 35 seater.”
Earlier, PMPML buses were used for schools in the city at Rs 70 per km and for a minimum run of 30km.
Responding to PMPML’s proposal, government-run National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) asked PMPML to supply four buses to ply its staff.
“We have been exploring options for the staff to come to office and commute without any problem during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, which made us write to PMPML to see if they have a viable solution. We have to see the willingness of the employee as well as the financial constraints before we take any decision,” administrative officer, NARI, said.
Dattareya Pandit, an IT programme manager, “We used to have our own bus service from the company, which was enabled with GPS and hence, was easy to trace besides, our buses have special card machine to swipe for the bus charges, but post lockdown, I feel intercity bus services will be allowed and if that doesn’t work, then companies will have to look at the PMPML option, then it will be a viable option.”