Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limiteds (PMPML) plan to procure a fleet of 1,000 new buses from Ashok Leyland in a special arrangement has failed to evoke a positive response from activists. Activists Jugal Rathi and Vivek Velankar said the move will result in the crash-strapped transport body losing money.
As per the plan,1,000 buses will be procured against a down payment of Rs 35 crore. Thereafter,the manufacturer will be paid Rs 12.50 per km for every bus for seven years. Thus,the PMPML will have paid the cost of the buses in seven years without paying any amount for their purchase. The additional income will be retained by the transport authority.
A proposal for the plan has been submitted by Ashok Leyland,which is being backed and followed up by the directors of PMPML. According to officials,the proposal once accepted will help in adding the much-needed fleet without the PMPML bearing any financial burden.
Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch said the competitive market value of the 1,000 buses at present will not be more than Rs 270 crore. However,in the present arrangement with Ashok Leyland the total cost of the buses will amount to around Rs 350 crore,which means a loss of Rs 80 crore to the cash-strapped body. According to the activists,the promise that these buses will be owned by PMPML after 7 years is nothing but illusion.
In seven years the buses will have completed 8 lakh km distance at a rate of 300 km per day. They will be disposed off by then, said the activists. They also questioned the decision to buy diesel-run buses when the directives and trend is to prefer eco-friendly CNG buses.