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Proposed bus fare hike to add burden on Pune citizens?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 12:51pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
Various city NGOs are protesting against the PMPML’s proposed bus fare hike by Re1. Around 20 organisations have formed ‘Save PMP bus service movement’.

Various city NGOs are protesting against the PMPML’s proposed bus fare hike by Re1. Around 20 organisations have formed ‘Save PMP bus service movement’. They say it is the responsibility of PMC and PCMC to give financial aid to PMPML and not recover its losses from the common man. Also, the public transportation is not meant to make profits but to serve masses at large. Speak Up gets you opinions...

PMC, PCMC must fund PMPML to recover losses
I agree that Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) must give financial aid to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal (PMPML).

The PMPML is incurring a loss of Rs10-13 crore every month, which is due to various passes given to citizens and less number of passengers at certain routes. Though the Maharashtra government gives Rs4 crore every month through the municipal corporations, which the PMPML is getting, the public transport body still incurs losses.

Both the municipal corporations must provide funds to cover the loss. For the last three-four years, PMC owes over Rs69 crore while PCMC owes Rs42 crore to PMPML. If the VAT on spare parts and diesel for PMPML is waived off for the next five years, we will roll back the proposed Re1 hike in the bus fare, otherwise PMPML has no option but to hike the fare.

The situation is such that if funds are not made available, it can be difficult for PMPML to dispense payments. It is necessary that both the municipal corporation come up with a solution.
Prashant Jagtap, PMC Corporator & Member, Board of Directors, PMPML

Many are fed up with pathetic bus service of city
Pune city has only one public transport, PMPML, which can be used by common man because of its affordability. The autorickshaws are not affordable and we do not have any other cheap mode of transportation service like metro railway. The bus fare charged by PMPML is very high compared to bus transports in other cities.

No public transport in the country makes profit and the BPMC Act, 1949, has made it obligatory for the state and civic government to support the public transport body. Increasing the bus fare and putting the burden on the citizens is not the solution and it has never helped in generating more revenues.

The municipal corporation has to come up with innovative methods for funding the PMPML.

Making the public transport costlier for the citizens means forcing them to have their own vehicles and stop using the bus facilities.

Already many are fed up with the pathetic PMPML bus services and intend to depend on their own private vehicles. How can the municipal corporation disown the public transport body saying it’s an independent organisation when the board of directors of PMPML comprise PCMC and PMC representatives, including the joint managing director and managing director.
Vivek Velankar, Citizen Activist

Bus fare in other cities is cheaper than Pune
I grew up in Pune and am using the public transportation for over 40 years now. As per my experience, the city’s public transport system always lacked on various fronts including proper management in terms of bus frequency, time table, behaviour with passengers, cleanliness, maintenance and others. I have been to Chennai, Hyderabad and even to Mumbai where the bus fare is cheaper compared to Pune.

It puzzles me if these cities can run a transport system without any problem, why has PMPML always suffered huge losses? I feel the main problem with our city’s transport body is its attitude towards running public organisations wherein customer satisfaction is not even considered. I think it is high time that the city has its own well-connected metro rail, which runs under the Indian Railways rather than the state or civic governance. If for the last 40 years I have seen no change in our public transport system, what can you expect in the future? What is lacking is the political will.
Nirmala Salunke, Senior Citizen

PMPML must roll back 2010 bus fare hike as well
The PMC, PCMC and the state government are responsible for the debacle and losses suffered by the PMPML. The state government is just been ignoring this issue. For the last so many years there is no full-time, efficient and full-term chairman and managing director (CMD) for the city’s public transport body. In the last four years, over eight CMDs were appointed and removed or else it has been running under additional charge. It is as good as a headless body. With such state of affairs how can you expect any progressive change in our public transport system? As per the government resolution (GR) dated April 19, 2007 and as per the Article of Association, it is mandatory to have directors for the finance, transport and HR departments but in PMPML, these posts are all the time vacant.

All the seven directors on the board of PMPML are from PMC and PCMC, so the management is in the hands of the municipal corporation. If anything goes wrong with the management of PMPML, it is the responsibility of the municipal corporation. We are not only against the proposed fare hike but we are demanding for the rollback of 2010 fare hike as well. The PMPML must first recover dues from PMC, PCMC, Pune police and various other parties. They have no right to burden their losses on the citizens. Jugal Rathi, President, PMP Pravasi Manch

Pune has more no. of private vehicles than Mumbai
I always prefer travelling by public transport than using my own vehicle. I have travelled to many parts of the country and I feel Pune city is the most costliest of all. There is no doubt that travelling by public buses is a costly affair.

In my opinion, instead of debating on the fare hike, we must question the PMPML and PMC/PCMC authorities about what audit mechanisms are used for checking the new buses they buy, is regular maintenance happening or not, are these buses in use or not, what average they give per kilometre etc. In fact, the bus staff members themselves chew tobacco and paan and spit inside the buses and at the bus depots. The buses are so dirty that I doubt whether they are ever cleaned. I think firstly there is need to straighten up the lethargic PMPML workers, including the top order and make them industrious. It is a known truth that PMPML is ill-managed and a system where public money is wasted with no returns.

The PMPML must make attempts to attract people to use its transport system and become customer-friendly. It must approach housing societies and tell citizens to stop using private vehicles and instead commute by public transport buses. Why is it that Pune has more number of private vehicles than that of Mumbai? This is because we do not have an efficient public transportation system.
Pramod Bapat, Retired Engineer




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