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PMPML sitting on land bank,but no space for depots

Pune Mahanagar Parivanan Mandal Limited has the land,but that is of little use as there is no approach road to drive in its fleet of buses that is desperately short of parking bays.

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune | Published: February 1, 2009 11:25 pm

“We will be able to access this land even if they make a 40-feet approach road,along Abhinav College on Sus Road”

Pune Mahanagar Parivanan Mandal Limited (PMPML) has the land,but that is of little use as there is no approach road to drive in its fleet of buses that is desperately short of parking bays. For want of a 40-feet approach road,the bus utility has been unable to use a two-acre land along Sus Road that has been lying vacant with the bus utility for over two years now

Little headway has been possible despite that the company has to park almost half its fleet outside depots in various parts of the city due to lack of space. The situation is expected to worsen once the company begins procuring new buses to augment the fleet. “We will be able to access this land even if they make a 40-feet approach road,along Abhinav College on Sus Road. At least 100 buses can be parked here,” said a PMPML officer. Land acquisition officers said the process is pending action.

It was over two years ago that the Land Department acquired this land for the erstwhile Pune Municipal Transport,later renamed as PMPML. The total land reserved for the city bus utility here is over six acres,part of it has been encroached upon while the remaining is yet to be acquired. The Pune Municipal Corporation had used Transfer of Development Rights to pay for the land.

Advocate Kiran Wagaj,who takes up land related cases,said PMPML has two options. “They can invoke a provision in the land acquisition Act to build a road. The easiest option for the PMC is to use Section 205 of the Bombay Provisional Municipal Corporation Act. An approach road can be built as per the company’s requirements,” he said.

PMC Commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi,who is on the PMPML board,said he would look into the issue. “We can invoke Section 205,but it has to cleared by the board. The main problem lies with acquisition as it is time-consuming,” he said.

As on date,the PMPML needs eight acres of land to ensure that all its buses are accommodated inside proper bus depots — according to an estimation given by the bus utility to Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Service Limited (ILFS),commissioned by PMPML to chart out a future course of action.

According to PMPML records,there are at least 12 pieces of land reserved in Pune city under the Development Plan,dating back to 1987,for PMPML bus terminus or stands. Only a few of these have been acquired; some of them have been locked in litigation,while parts have been encroached upon.

“This is because the company has no strong leadership to take up these issues. In the last 12 years,the company has not had one single chief for a sustained period. Most of the officers see this as a stepping stone to other posts. They should spend at least three years in this post,” said PMP Pravasi Manch convener Vivek Velankar.

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