As the dug-up roads and traffic snarls continue to haunt the Punekars, there is no relief for them when it comes to using public transport.
The recent reports of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) showed that on average, 41 buses of the public transport provider broke down per day in March. The number was 26 in January. While in total 2,870 PMPML buses broke down on Pune roads since January.
A major chunk of city residents commutes every day through the PMPML buses.
The PMPML, in its latest report of March, stated that the average number of daily breakdowns of PMPML-owned buses increased from 8 buses per day in January to 22 buses per day in March 2023.
In January, 261 PMPML-owned buses broke down while the tally was at 549 for leased buses taking the total number of breakdowns to 810. The daily average breakdown was 26.
In February, 324 PMPML-owned buses broke down while the tally was at 466 for leased buses taking the total number of breakdowns to 790. The daily average breakdown was 28.
While in March these numbers increased. 686 PMPML-owned buses broke down while the tally was at 584 for leased buses taking the total breakdowns to 1270. The daily average breakdown was 41.
Meanwhile, the revenue of the PMPML has also taken a hit in these three months as it jumped from Rs 50,52,07,517 (Average per day revenue: 1.63 Crore) in January to Rs 47,61,05,932 (Average per day revenue: 1.53 Crore) in March.
The earning per Kilometre has also come down to Rs 44.47 in March from Rs 45.26 in January.
In March, PMPML ferried 3,46,92,222 passengers through 5,83,745 trips while in January the number was at 3,73,37,567 and 6,19,616 trips.
Source: PMPML's monthly reports of January, March and April
While speaking to the Free Press Journal, PMP Pravasi Manch chairman Jugal Rathi said, “Lack of management, and discipline are a few of the distinct issues with PMPML. When it was made a public company in 2007, it was supposed to have traffic, HR and finance directors to ensure the smooth running of this public utility. But to date, these posts are vacant. PMPML instead of carrying out a detailed study of the routes is just adding new routes to its schedule because of which the frequency of the buses in the city limits gets affected.
"As the frequency is disturbed, the revenue gets affected as passengers prefer another mode of transport. And in case of breakdowns, the contractors are not answerable. Sometimes it happens that even the controller is unaware of whether a bus on a particular route is coming or not. There is no accountability”, he said.
Even in the ongoing debate on the upcoming Bal Bharati Paud Phata Link road project, experts and activists have highlighted the importance of the strengthening public transport like PMPML and Metro.
We tried reaching out to the PMPML administration, but we did not get their response till the time of publishing this news.
Check the monthly reports below