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PMPML to hike bus fares to cope with fuel prices, passengers irked

To scrutinise price models of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Bengaluru, before taking a final call.

pune Updated: Jun 29, 2018 17:04 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,pmpml
According to the official data given by a senior PMPML official, the department faces a daily loss of Rs 3,60,000 owing to the increased price of CNG and diesel.(HT File Photo)

The Pune mahanagar parivahan mahamandal limited’s (PMPML) decision to increase the bus ticket fares has irked residents who use the public transport utility.

PMPML to hike bus fares to cope with fuel prices, passengers irkedIs adding more buses the solution? - Box (PUNE Metro pg 3; Date: June 29, 2018) - Embed code inline script.
Is adding more buses the solution?
While the Pune mahanagar parivahan mahamandal limited has decided to increase bus fares, it has inducted 73 new bus drivers and may add 200 more buses to its fleet
Why PMPML needs more buses
Total number of buses - 2,093 buses
Owned by PMPML - 1,440
Owned by private contractors -653
Bus shortage issue
Scheduled number of buses for daily operations - 1,700
Number of buses plying daily -1,400
Number of scheduled trips cancelled owing to shortage of buses - over 4,000
Reason While some of the buses are non-operational for technical and maintenance reasons, other buses do not operate because of the scarcity of drivers
PMPML’s solution
73 new drivers inducted, joined duty from June 27
200 more drivers to be added in the next two months
Ticket fare hike issue
Total number of PMPML buses - 2,093
Number of buses running on diesel - 842
Number of buses running on CNG - 571
₹3,60,000 - Loss incurred by PMPML on a daily basis owing to the increased price of CNG and diesel
Reason
According to the official data given by a senior PMPML official, the department faces a daily loss of ₹3,60,000 owing to the increased price of CNG and diesel.
The PMPML has a debt to pay to the Maharashtra natural gas limited (MNGL) and the firm has threatened to stop supply if we fail to pay the dues, according to sources.
PMPML’s solution
Hike bus fares

Nayana Gunde, chairman and managing director of PMPML, said, “The hike in diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) prices has resulted in a daily financial loss for the department. Therefore, we are planning to increase the ticket fare. We are scrutinising the price model of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Bengaluru. Based on a detailed report, further decisions will be taken.”

According to the official data given by a senior PMPML official, the department faces a daily loss of Rs 3,60,000 owing to the increased price of CNG and diesel. However, the proposal has not gone down well with the residents who opined that instead of reducing the fare, PMPML is working on how to increase the ticket prices.

Ranjit Gadgil, programme director at city-based NGO Parisar, said, “Fare hike is absolutely uncalled for. While there could be strong arguments of reducing the prices, rise in the ticket fare is unfair.”

He added, “PMPML’s focus should be on increasing ridership. However, with this decision the department is only focusing on further creating a distance from passengers. The operational cost of a two-wheeler is less than that of the ticket rates of PMPML buses. Increase in ticket rates will further push residents into opting for two-wheelers. This will only lead to creating further problems.”

Instead, to manage the loss incurred by the PMPML, both the Pune municipal corporation and the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation should give some additional subsidy to the transport utility, added Gadgil.

Satish Chitale, member of city-based NGO PMP Pravasi Manch, said, “For a very long time, we have been requesting the PMPML authorities to reduce the ticket fare. Rather than helping the passengers, they are further burdening them by increasing the fares.”

A senior PMPML official, on condition of anonymity, justified the possible fare rise and said, “The department is already in loss. The PMPML has a debt to pay to the Maharashtra natural gas limited (MNGL) and the firm has threatened to stop supply if we fail to pay the dues.”

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 16:38 IST