The city is currently facing an issue of shortage of buses plying on routes and its lack of frequency. Despite this being a major inconvenience, PMPML has decided to invest in e-buses instead of increasing the number of regular buses.(RAHUL RAUT/HT PHOTO)
The city is currently facing an issue of shortage of buses plying on routes and its lack of frequency. Despite this being a major inconvenience, PMPML has decided to invest in e-buses instead of increasing the number of regular buses.(RAHUL RAUT/HT PHOTO)

Your space: PMPML, Pune cannot afford e-buses

Is the cash-strapped Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited’s (PMPML) decision to hire 25 e-buses by offering a non-refundable subsidy of 50 lakh for each bus in the best interest of the city? Here is what our readers have to say...
Hindustan Times, Pune | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON DEC 16, 2018 03:35 PM IST

Althought the thought of reducing pollution is good, the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) must first understand that even developed countries are yet to make the shift to e-buses. Why does Pune want to go for it before richer countries adopt and test it? PMPML had earlier purchased compressed natural gas (CNG) -run buses and most of them are lying idle or have broken down. So is it not wise to focus on bringing those back on the road? - Nitin Kadam

Power source for charging should be green as well

Introducing electric buses in Pune is a great idea. The city is growing and roads are often congested with cars, two-wheelers and autos. Electric buses are innovative and reduce pollution. However, since these buses require charging from the grid, the power source for charging the batteries should be green as well. This is where smart grid technology comes in. The Pune-based startup ‘Ampere Hour Energy’ is for example working on this. - D Arand

Micro planning is the key

Puneites regularly avail PMPML services. The city requires better buses with regular frequency. However, e-buses is clearly not the solution. The priority is to first fulfil the basic necessities before moving onto luxury goods. If someone is poor and hungry, his priority is to get food and not a sweet dish. E-buses might be great, but we must understand the economic condition. Micro planning is key. Though we know branded products and their quality, we prefer items which are economic. For example, if we require a car, we purchase an economy car and not high-end cars. PMPML needs to review it’s decision and buy enough number economy buses. - Vijay Vaidya

Must give boost to services of public transport utility

E-buses is the need of the hour considering the amount of private vehicles in the city. To ensure private vehicle owners shift to public transport, authorities must boost services of the PMPML. We might face trouble initially in generating revenue during the transit period, however once citizens are accustomed to the new transport facility, travelling via public transport buses will witness a significant rise in the city. - Apurva Belsare

No place for corruption

As long as e-buses in the city are inducted in a legitimate manner without leaving space for corruption, they are welcome, as the number of private vehicles is significantly high. While PMPML is already in a poor shape, these new buses might improve passenger convenience along with the higher frequency of buses plying on city roads. However, PMPML must also work towards ensuring the new e-buses which will be inducted should be maintained properly, or else induction of new buses won’t bring any change in the present situation besides merely wasting public money. - Ashutosh Mhaske

Reduce air and noise pollution

Considering Pune does not face shortage in terms of electricity and good infrastructure is available, electric buses will work well in the city. Bus rapid transit (BRT) bus stops can be used for online charging and since the longest distance the e-bus can travel without charging is 30km, the problem of running short of charge should not arise. Overall it will help reduce air and noise pollution. - Vijay Sagar

Can PMC and PMPML execute this?

Using e-buses as public transport is a great idea and also necessary in the future.

However, I am very doubtful about Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and PMPML’s execution capabilities. Quite a few good ideas turned out bad post implementation. For example, the bus rapid transport (BRTS) system was a good idea, though badly implemented.

I hope the electric vehicles idea is well executed. These vehicles should be well maintained and kept running. Pune-based companies like Kirtaney Pandit Information Technologies (KPIT) have the technology for it. - Arunkumar Nair

For a greener tomorrow

Electric buses are the need of the hour for all metro cities. It will be an excellent move to switch from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles before its too late. It will surely help to reduce noise and air pollution in city.

Less number of moving parts in electric vehicles reduces the cost of maintenance and in the long run operators will be able to provide better services.

Authorities need to ensure that enough charging points/ stations are available to avoid unplanned service breakdown. I am sure PMPML will take right steps to increase fleet of modern electric buses and provide better service to Pune citizens. - Aditya Kumar Gupta

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