When it comes to ensuring safety of its buses,PMPML concedes it has not been able to do so. It lacks space to park its buses at places where proper security could be provided. As a result,PMPML is forced to park its buses on public roads where the buses are either found damaged the next morning or their parts stolen.
The problem is likely to ease to an extent with the Pune Municipal Corporation deciding to provide some space to PMPML to park its buses. PMPML joint managing director,Pravin Ashtikar,said the PMC has promised to provide amenity space to the PMPML to park its buses.
At a meeting with the PMC chief and officials held last week,the civic body told us that they would provide us parking space at eight spots. Though parking space at eight places would not completely solve our problem,it will reduce the problem to an extent, he said. A PMPML official said the parking space earmarked in the suburbs include those in Katraj,Baner,Hadapsar,Balewadi and Dhairy. The two others are outside the suburbs.
Ashtikar said,PMPML had also sought space for eight depots and the matter is being expedited by the civic body. As of now we have 10 depots. We have sought another eight depots. The civic officials have promised to look into the matter. Once we get the depots,this will further help in the parking of buses, he said.
PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said some buses are accommodated in the space available at the 10 depots. Even here,buses could be seen parked outside the depots because we cannot accommodate all, he said. PMPML has a fleet of over 1,500 buses.
Civic activists said,one of the reasons why PMPML is incurring loss is because its buses are getting damaged or the parts going missing. If buses are going to be parked on roads,there is no reason why they wont suffer damage or their parts get stolen. This dents a big hole in PMPMLs pocket. If civic bodies help PMPML by providing proper parking space,the losses will come down and then it would not be required to hike fares, said activist Shridhar Chalkha.