AT A time when the central government is laying emphasis on reducing pollution and increasing the use of CNG in vehicles, the PMPML is planning to purchase hundreds of diesel-run buses.
A proposal to this effect was approved during last week’s board of directors’ meeting.
The move has invited flak from several activists.
PMPML Chairman and Managing Director Tukaram Mundhe has, in fact, constituted an expert committee to study the possibility of purchasing diesel-run buses.
Seema Savale, chairperson of PCMC standing committee and one of the directors on PMPML board, said PMPML intends to purchase 800 buses. “The administration has pointed out that the CNG-run buses have high maintenance cost and their parts are not easily available either. Therefore, the PMPML board said, they prefer diesel-run buses. They want to purchase 400 CNG-run buses and 400 diesel-run,” she said.
“At the meeting, it was pointed out that there are two options for purchasing buses, one is CNG buses and another is diesel-run buses. The administration told us that under Euro IV norms, the diesel-run buses cause less pollution. They also pointed out that CNG buses were creating maintenance problem. Therefore, a committee has been set up to suggest the best possible option,” said Mayor Mukta Tilak.
But, civic activists are not convinced. “It is a ridiculous plan. It is against the national policy. At a time when all efforts are being made to reduce pollution, and the central government, along with the rest of the world, is talking about it, our transport organisation is thinking in reverse gear,” said Prashant Inamdar, convenor of Pedestrians First.
“If tomorrow the central government decides to ban diesel-run vehicles, what will the PMPML do?” he asked.