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Help us, Pardeshi appeals to state, PMC, PCMC
ST Correspondent | Saturday, 31 January 2015 AT 10:37 PM IST
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Pune: Chairman and Managing Director of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) Dr Shrikar Pardeshi has appealed to the State government and the two civic bodies to help the ailing transport utility for rendering quality services to commuters.

Dr Pardeshi recently held marathon meetings with the elected members of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations separately discussing the problems plaguing PMPML and the way forward to make the cash-strapped transport utility financially stable.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Pardeshi said, “PMPML is in urgent need of more land. Moreover, both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations have to ensure a steady flow of the financial assistance to ensure smooth operations of the buses,” he said.

According to Pardeshi, the State government and the two civic bodies have to work together to immediately provide 155 acres of land to PMPML. “This shall help PMPML to park its entire fleet safely. It will also help the transport utility to garner non-ticket revenue to make the transport utility’s financial health stable,” stressed Dr Pardeshi.

PMPML is currently forced to station a sizable section of its vehicles on roads at night as there is severe paucity of space at its depots across Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.  

Drawing a parallel between the public transport system in Bengaluru and Pune, the PMPML CMD told the elected members that both the Karnataka government and the local civic body there supported the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to the hilt to make this sole public bus transport provider in that city provide quality, safe, reliable, clean and affordable travel.

According to him, both these agencies provided BMTC with adequate land to park its entire fleet of 6,800 buses. This also helped BMTC mop up non-ticket revenue.

“If Pune wants to compete with Bengaluru in attracting more investments, the city’s public transport system has to thrive,” he stressed.   

He also appealed to elected members of PMC and PCMC to ensure that there is constant flow of funds from the two civic bodies to PMPML for its smooth operations.

At present both these civic bodies are providing the funds at instalments, which is posing problems for the transport utility to ensure smooth functioning of the transport utility, including the proper upkeep of the vehicles.

'PMC facing land shortage'
In a separate interview, PMPML CMD Dr Shrikar Pardeshi spoke to Abhay Khairnar about his recent meetings with elected representatives and his expectations from PMC and PCMC 

What are your expectation from the two civic bodies?
Although PMPML is a separate company, PMC and PCMC are the main stake holders, with 60 per cent and 40 per cent stakes respectively. Its rare across the globe that any public transport is a profit making entity. But that does not mean it can make huge losses. Its the responsibility of the utility to manage professionally and generate more revenue. PMPML expects both the corporations to make budgetary provisions in their annual budget and hand it over to PMPML on monthly basis instead of giving in one or two slabs. Both the corporations agree to this suggestion. PMPML is facing the land shortage. It’s half of the fleet is parked on roads every day. PMPML presently has only 43 acres land. We need at least 155 acres of more land to accommodate future fleet of the utility. We are expecting that both PMC and PCMC to hand over these plots to the PMPML as early as possible.

What is the feedback that you got after interacting with elected members?
The elected members of PMC and PCMC have a positive outlook towards the public transport utility. They do have some complaints against PMPML like mismanagement. But all of them wants PMPML to be strengthened. The elected members have given several inputs to streamline PMPML's functioning. Some even highlighted the irregularities. The feedback from both the corporations is good. We will increase interactions with the elected members in days to come. Our officers will attend the general body and standing committee meetings regularly.

What action you have taken on the issues raised by the elected members?
Many elected members said that some PMPML officers are holding their posts for several years. They have complaints about some specific departments. We have acted immediately and carried out major transfers in PMPML. Notices were also given to some private operators. Even the routes of private operators have been curtailed and we have asked them to run new buses in the city.

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