DELAYING the delivery of promised buses to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is likely to cost bus manufacturers dearly, as the transport body’s Board of Directors (BoD) has proposed to impose a total fine of Rs 4.5 crore on the suppliers.
The PMPML is in the middle of a process to acquire 400 CNG-run and 150 electric buses. While CNG buses are being provided by Tata Motors, electric buses are being procured from Olectra Electric. So far, the transport body has recieved 175 buses from Tata and 75 buses from Olectra and both the supplies are lagging by several months. This has prompted the PMPML BoD to pass a proposal to impose fines on both the suppliers on account of delay in delivery.
“The delivery timeline is in the contracts signed by both the firms. The contract also mentions the penalties in case of missing the deadlines. In accordance with the guideline only the proposal was passed to impose a show cause notice to both the firms as to why they should not be fined for delayed delivery,” said Siddharth Shirole, a member of the PMPML BoD.
The proposal says that the firms are liable to pay a total of Rs 4.5 crore to PMPML at a rate of Rs 10,000 per bus per day or 10 per cent of the price of the bus.
Shirole said the firms have conveyed various reasons for the delay, including change in specifications in technological aspects, as well as configurations.
“We will hear their explanations. The aim is not to get money from them but to ensure timely delivery of the procured vehicles in future,” said Shirole.
Officials have said that the companies have been directed to ensure that every bus has a fire extinguisher. There have been dozens of incidents involving PMPML buses where they have caught fire in the middle of their runs.
The BoD meeting held on Saturday had also decided in favour of giving a Diwali bonus to its staffers, even though the festival is two months away and the bonus issue has lately become contentious due to the transport body’s ill financial health. The BoD seems to have taken the decision in advance as model code of conduct is expected to set in within a week’s time, which may prevent the BoD from taking the decision on bonus later on.