Buses broke down 1,238 times in May
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- 07-13-2012, 06:22 AM #1
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Buses broke down 1,238 times in May
Reported by Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 13, 2012
Buses broke down 1,238 times in May - The Times of India
PUNE: Here is another confirmation of the pathetic condition of public bus transport in the city. The number of breakdowns of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) buses has shown a steep increase from 979 instances in May 2010 to 1,238 instances in May 2012.
Poor road worthiness and lack of drivers and conductors meant that 361 buses were off-roads in May 2010 which increased to 610 buses in May 2012. Strangely, the number of buses in the PMPML fleet have gone up from 1,580 in May 2010 to 1,777 in May 2012.
A Right to Information application filed by city-based PMP Pravasi Manch revealed this information. It shows a steady increase in the number of the buses on road in the last three years. Compared to 361 buses that were off roads in May 2010, the number increased by 46 in 2011 to reach 407, which further went up by 203 in 2012 to 610.
"The manch had sought the information against the backdrop of the proposed hike in bus fares. The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) officials had made promises of better service, when they had increased the fares in the past. But data available from the PMPML shows that hardly any improvement has taken place in the service. We feel that there should be no fare hike unless and until there is a noticeable improvement in service," said Jugal Rathi, founder of the group, while addressing a news conference here on Thursday.
Rathi said that statistics of PMPML also highlighted the decline in the number of passengers using public transport. Nearly 1.5 lakh people stopped using the service since May 2010, while the number of complaints about the service has gone up from 31 in May 2010 to 522 in May 2012.
Vivek Velankar, another activist of the manch, said they have chosen a parameter of one month's performance, while seeking information.
"We selected May and have taken data of the last three years for the same month. The data was compared to various aspects of PMPML services to see if it had improved or not," he said.
Rathi said that assurances by PMPML like increasing number of buses and passenger load, improving average to cut down diesel consumption, rationalisation of bus routes and reducing administrative expenses have not been fulfilled.
All these factors have brought about a decline in the income of the transport utility. The per bus per day income has gone down from Rs 8,323 in May 2011 to Rs 8,100 in May 2012. The figure was not available for May 2010.
Similarly, the per km revenue has reduced from Rs 35.09 to Rs 34.31, Velankar stated.
Velankar and Rathi have also alleged that the loss suffered by PMPML was increasing because of inefficiency and the administration was trying to hide the fact by proposing a fare hike in a bid to reduce losses.
Meanwhile, in another news conference co-opted corporator of Pune Municipal Corporation ( PMC) Sanjay Balgude demanded that the PMPML be disbanded.
"The company has been showing consistent losses since its formation. It was formed with an intention to provide better public transport and bring financial stability to the public transport undertaking. But the company has failed to achieve both these targets," he said.
Sunil Gavali, traffic manager of PMPML, said that the number of off-road buses will reduce soon.
"The process of recruiting bus drivers and conductors is underway. The recruitment of drivers is almost over, it will be followed by conductors. The number of off-road buses will go down once the recruitment is done," he said.
Deepak Pardeshi, public relations officer of the PMPML, said that the high number of breakdown instances was due to old buses plying. "The process of procuring new buses is on and steps have been taken to ensure better maintenance. The situation will improve soon," he claimed.