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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Increase fares, rationalise routes: Auditor to PMPML

PMPML losses increased by Rs 43.07 crore in 2018-19

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune | Published: February 14, 2020 5:11:32 am
pune city news, pune buses, pmpml buses, pune bus day, pune traffic, pune traffic department The PMPML audit report was tabled before the PMC Standing Committee on Thursday.(File)

An audit report tabled by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration has suggested various steps, including fare hikes and route rationalisation in PMPML buses, after the transport body’s operational losses in 2018-19 rose by Rs 43.07 crore.

The PMPML audit report was tabled before the PMC Standing Committee on Thursday. “The operational loss of PMPML for 2018-19 was Rs 349.36 crore, compared to Rs 306.29 crore in 2017-18. It has increased by Rs 43.07 crore,” said Arvind Galinde, chief auditor of PMC, in the report.

After the transport body managed to improve its performance marginally in 2017-18, its losses increased again in the next financial year due to its failure to increase tariff and more buses remaining off the roads, stated the report.

The PMPML buses used to ply on 428 routes in 2018-19, but on all the routes, the expenditure per km was higher than the revenue. In fact, the transport body faced an average loss of Rs 30.82 per km, with long-distance routes reporting the highest losses. Now, the PMPML has stopped plying buses on 47 of the 428 routes to reduce its losses.

The audit report pointed out that the overall operational cost of PMPML increased by Rs 6.93 per km, from Rs 76.98 per km in 2017-18 to Rs 83.51 per km in 2018-19. The average number of buses that stayed off the roads every day, due to a variety of reasons, increased by 83, from 602 in 2017-18 to 685 in 2018-19.

The revenue earned from ticket sales reduced by Rs 31.81 crore, from Rs 445.40 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 413.59 crore in 2018-19. The transport body needs to fix leakages in the system, said the auditor.

The report stated, “The PMPML needs to increase efficiency of the ticket checking squad to fix leakages. The tariff revision should be done scientifically to increase the revenue in a proper manner”. It pointed out that the transport body had not increased its fare since 2014, and this was among the reasons behind the increased loss to PMPML.

Another major factor that contributed to PMPML’s losses was the increase in diesel prices by 15.29 per cent and CNG prices by 14.64 per cent in 2018-19, compared to the fuel price hikes in 2017-18, stated the report.

The audit report suggested that the PMPML needs to follow a method of “route rationalisation” with the help of an expert consultant to reduce losses on various routes. It also said the PMPML could increase its revenue by as much as four times from advertisements on its properties, buses and bus stops.

Other suggestions include reducing maintenance cost by phasing out vehicles that are more than seven years old, which is 624 of the 1,373 PMPML buses on the road.

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