The PMPML had been chugging uphill for years without anyone to steer it clear of the financial doldrums it had hit, but commuters have sighted a ray of hope within a span of just three months. The signs of a turnaround are already visible, and commuters are giving full credit to PMPML Managing Director Shrikar Pardeshi.
Pardeshi, in his tenure of a few months at PMPML has sparked interest among people who are talking about a likely transformation in services. In the 10 days he has at hand before he joins the PMO in Delhi, Pardeshi promises to accomplish more.
His “to-do list” has three main goals. Getting possession of land where octroi posts stand (to resolve the land crunch of the transport body), rationalising bus routes and releasing a new timetable, and revamping the PMPML website.
The IAS officer will join the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as deputy secretary within two weeks. Before that, he wants to some more to woo back lost commuters.
Pardeshi, who is set to forego his posts — he is inspector general of registration (IGR) and controller of stamps, and CMD of PMPML (additional charge) within 10 days, says he has these important targets to meet before handing over charge.
“Rationalisation of routes is an important step in attracting passengers whom we lost due to bad service. These passenger were forced to buy vehicles or use rickshaws or cabs to commute as they could no longer rely on our service. Once we revamp the schedule, rationalise the route, publish it and print it at each bus stop and stick to that schedule, we will win back the confidence of passengers,” said Pardeshi. “The work for this is in the last phase and I am hoping it will be over in a week,” he added.
Another task is to secure possession of the land where defunct octroi posts now stand.
“The transport body is experiencing a severe land crunch. In the absence of space, PMPML is forced to park its buses on the roads. This not only inconvenienced other road users but also damaged the buses, which, as a result needed frequent maintenance. It also increased frequency of breakdowns. PMC has agreed to the proposal and PMPML might soon get possession of the land,” he said. There were eight octroi posts in the city that had become idle after the state government introduced the new tax regime, Local Body Tax, in 2013.
Pardeshi said revamping the PMPML website is another important goal. “We are getting a specific domain name for the website and have sent a proposal to the National Informatics Centre. Once it’s cleared, we will build a website that will be a platform to access details of PMPML services and schedule, schemes and other details,” said Pardeshi.