PIMPRI-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Dr Shrikar Pardeshi has taken up charge of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) as its chairman R N Joshi has gone on leave. With Pardeshi taking charge of PMPML,commuters and activists in the city are hoping there would be at least some change in the functioning of the transport body which is struggling to stay afloat.
Pardeshi said he would take up the issue of breakdown of buses on priority. I will look into the issue of breakdown of buses, he said. Though PMPML officials said Joshi would be away for a month,it is believed that he wont make a return as his tenure was criticised due to the financial crisis faced by the transport body and its inability to cater to the growing commuter demands. A comment made by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is also being attributed to Joshi going on leave. At a meeting last week with MLAs and PMPML officials,Ajit Pawar had apparently said that he will try to get an efficient IAS officer at the PMPML helm. It was clearly a signal for Joshis exit. Probably that is why he has gone on leave and Pardeshi has been appointed, said Prashant Inamdar of citizens group Pedestrians First.
Seeking Pardeshis continunance as PMPML chairman,Inamdar said,Even if Pardeshi stays with PMPML for six to eight months,he will bring about a change in the functioning of the body. I am sure he would replicate his ideas and plans to make PMPML a disciplined organisation. In last two-three years,PMPML has sunk to a new low,losses have jumped and breakdowns of buses have increased, Inamdar said. Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch said,Pardeshis appointment augurs well for the sinking organisation. PMPML needs an officer who will take strong actions. During Joshis tenure,PMPML has moved in reverse gear, he said.
Inamdar said PMPML needs a receptive officer at the helm. The likes of Subbarao Patil and Dilip Band were receptive to ideas about bringing change in the functioning of PMPML. They were ready to take up suggestions. But in the past two-three years,PMPML has not been amenable to suggestions and ideas, he said.
Amol Deshpande,a commuter activist said,Pardeshi has turned things around in PCMC. We are hoping that he would do the same with PMPML. We also hope that the additional charge of PMPML that he has been given should be continued with him.
Though commuters are hoping that Pardeshi would continue in the saddle,the PCMC chief said it would be difficult for him to look after both the organisations. It is not possible to do justice to both the organisations, he said,when asked whether he would continue as PMPML chairman. Inamdar said Dilip Band had handled two jobs with aplomb. Band was divisional commissioner looking after six districts as well as PMPML. So there should be no problem for Pardeshi to handle two organisations.