In a move aimed not only at promoting public transport but also protecting schoolchildren form accidents,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will provide them free travel on the school route. They can ride buses run by the civic utility PMPML.
The scheme,which will benefit lakhs of students in Classes V to X,will come into effect in June and the PMC has kept aside Rs 9 crore in its 2009-10 budget.
We frequently see road accidents in which schoolchildren either lose their lives or suffer serious injuries. Lawless traffic is risky for schoolchildren who go to school by bicycle. We have decided to catch them young to promote the use of public transport. If we can make them use the public transport system at a young age,there is a strong possibility that they will keep using it in the future, standing committee chairman Shyam Deshpande said.
If this happens,the strain on roads will be reduced and hence the number of accidents will also come down. The free travel will be allowed only on the daily route of the student between his residence and school. The students will have to produce their identity proof, Deshpande said.
The PMC has also made an allocation of Rs 30 crore for buying 390 buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The Centre had recently sanctioned Rs 163 crore to the PMC and the PCMC to buy a fleet of 650 buses. Besides this,Rs 3 crore has also been allocated for constructing an underground pedestrian way at Shanipar on Bajirao Road.