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PMPML’s Mi cards finds no acceptance among Punekars

Experts say introduction of metro rail and subsequent integration of the MiCard with the metro ticketing system may provide the required headway

pune Updated: Oct 31, 2018 16:34 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,PMPML,Buses
The purchasing cost of the Mi card is a deterrent for passengers. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

The mobility card service system MiCard, launched in the city for passengers of Pune mahanagar parivahan mahamandal limited (PMPML) as a part of the smart city initiative has found no takers in the city.

On June 25, 2016 as a part of the first phase of Smart City project, PM Modi had launched the mobility card in Pune.

Two years and four months later, the cards are all but lost in obscurity. The introduction of metro rail and the subsequent potential integration of the MiCard with the metro ticketing system may provide the required headway for the card. However, the metro itself is multiple years away from completion.

A senior manager, who requested anonymity, said,”We are launching the process step-by-step. We have also sent a proposal to the concerned people to include it in metro, parking lots and other such areas. Work is in progress. Since there is money involved, it is better to take time instead of launching something that is bound to fail.”

While senior officials at central bank of India as well as PMPML are shifting the blame for the non-performance of the MiCard, a few aspects of the project in itself could not be ignored in this regard.

The head of the pass department, Suresh Sonawane, said that the purchase cost of the card discourages people from going for it.

The current paper pass is issued along with a life-time valid photo identity card which needs to be carried along with the pass itself. The MiCard, on the other hand, has a photo of the holder on one side and a 16 digit number on the other.

While currently there are 28,109 card holders, the number of tickets purchased by 5,56,396 passengers until 4.40 pm on Monday alone was 4,79,043.“The amount of money collected from all 13 depots (collectively) crosses ₹1 crore every single day,” said Sheetal Chavan, assistant manager in a department at PMPML.

“The card system is managed completely by the Central Bank of India. The card costs ₹118 to the passenger. When a regular passenger is presented the option of getting the card, it is instantly turned down. The (paper) identity card, which is issued during the initial purchase, costs ₹ 20. People say that they will buy the card if it is replaced either free of cost or for the cost of the paper ID,” said Sonawane. In an undeniable sign of the high demand for the paper passes, a counter behind his chair was filled with thousands of new mint green coloured paper passes waiting to be issued and filled up a fourth of the wall.

The senior official, who requested anonymity, also added that the application process takes 8-10 days’ time from the date of application. Furthermore, there is no way of recharging the card online. The passengers have to come to point of sale (POS) centers to recharge their cards. Therefore, if the passengers have to come to PMPML to recharge or renew their cards or passes, one cannot help but presume the card system to be redundant.

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 14:45 IST