The already cash-strapped Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) turned out to be the biggest loser as protesters took to the streets on Saturday night and Sunday morning against the objectionable Facebook post. It sustained losses to the tune of over Rs 55 lakh due to the damage to buses that were pelted with stones as also due to cancellation of trips by commuters.
Stone-pelting by the protesters that started on Saturday night continued on Sunday with incidents being reported from both the city and the outskirts.
PMPML officials said the damage was caused despite the administration taking utmost care. Spokesman Deepak Pardeshi said as many as 193 PMPML buses had been damaged in the protests so far.
“As many as 193 PMPML buses — including those of private operators — have been damaged due to stone-pelting. Of these, about 102 buses were damaged on Saturday night and 91 buses were were damaged on Sunday. Of the 91 buses damaged today, 35 were safely parked at the Upper Indira Nagar depot for the fear of getting vandalised. However, some protesters still entered the depot and damaged them,” said Pardeshi.
PMPML Chief Executive Officer Mayura Shindekar said the transport body suffered a loss of around Rs 20 to 22 lakh due to the damage.
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“There was also a revenue loss of about Rs 35 lakh due to the cancellation of over 400 trips due to the protests,” said Pardeshi.
He said stone-pelting occurred across the city. “We have reports of buses damaged at Shivajinagar, Hadapsar, Chafekar Chowk, Pimpri, Khadki, Yerawada, Kasba Peth, Phadke Haud, Shanipar, PMC Bhavan, Dange Chowk, Nigdi and Swargate among other places.
“We had directed conductors of all these buses to go and register an offence at the nearest police station,” said Pardeshi.