PMPML plans fine hike on private contractors to check breakdown figure
The number of breakdowns of buses in 2017-18 had reduced to 2,523, from 3,893 in the 2016-17 owing to implementing of various measures, including Rs 5,000 as fine imposed for every breakdown.
Pune The reduction in fine levied on private contractors for every breakdown of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) bus has resulted into increase in the number of buses being off the roads for lack of maintenance in the past few months. Taking serious cognisance of the increased number of breakdowns, the transport utility is planning to bring back the earlier policy of increasing the fine amount.
The number of breakdowns of buses in 2017-18 had reduced to 2,523, from 3,893 in the 2016-17 owing to implementing of various measures, including Rs 5,000 as fine imposed for every breakdown. Within the first nine months of 2018, the number of breakdowns is close to the previous year, with 2,481 breakdowns recorded till September 10.
The administration under PMPML managing director Nayana Gunde had decided to reduce the fine levied on private contractors running buses for PMPML to Rs 1,000. However, within the first nine months of its implementation in 2018, the number of breakdowns is close to the previous year.
The PMPML has formed a committee comprising representatives of private contractors and department staff to look into the issues faced by private contractors, according to Gunde, head of PMPML.
The fine on private contractors was introduced by Tukaram Mundhe, the former PMPML chief and Gunde’s predecessor. Every breakdown invited a fine of Rs 5,000 for the private contractors. “The rules were already there for contractors. He simply implemented it and came down heavily on contractors,” said Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch, a forum of city bus passengers.
Mundhe was heading PMPML for 11 months before he was transferred in February this year.
“There is a complete loss of discipline in administration, private contractor management, depot management since Mundhe left,” said Rathi.
“The loss of discipline percolates from the highest office to the lower level. Some of the tough decisions taken by Mundhe were reversed - like a few senior officials who were suspended were reinstated at the same or senior position with a pending enquiry against them.”
A few of the private contractors include Mahalakshmi Auto Limited, Travel Times Limited among others. PMPML owns a total of 1,438 buses and takes services of 653 buses from private contractors. Of the PMPML-owned buses, an average of 986 buses reach the roads, while 465 private contractor buses ply on the roads daily, according to a PMPML official.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 17:51:19