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Pune transport authority relaunches reward for reporting cellphone use by bus drivers while driving

In 2010, then Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited chairman and managing director Subbarao Patil had started the scheme to curb the practice of drivers talking on cell phones while on duty, to avoid accidents.

By: Express News Service | Pune | May 15, 2018 5:20:24 am
Pune transporatation authority relaunches reward for reporting cellphone use by bus drivers while driving The penalty imposed on guilty drivers too has been doubled.

Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has re-introduced the scheme wherein it gives cash rewards to residents who click pictures of drivers using cellphones while driving. The scheme, which was launched in 2010, was in practice till November 2017 when then PMPML chairman and managing director Tukaram Mundhe decided to discontinue it.

As per the new scheme, the penalty imposed on guilty drivers too has been doubled. Now, the driver who is at the receiving end would have to cough up Rs 2,000 instead of earlier penalty of Rs 1,000. Of the total fine amount, Rs 1000 will be paid to the person reporting the violation with the pictures while remaining Rs 1,000 would go to the PMPML’s employee welfare fund, sources said.

In 2010, then PMPML chairman and managing director Subbarao Patil had started the scheme to curb the practice of drivers talking on cell phones while on duty, to avoid accidents. While the scheme was announced in 2010, its implementation could only begin in 2014.

Also, it was not the only such scheme launched at that time. Two other schemes were initiated under which those sending a picture of a bus standing on the zebra crossing and picture of a bus leaking fuel were also rewarded. While the two schemes were closed after a few months, the one on punitive measures on drivers is still on and has grown in popularity.

Mundhe’s move to stop giving rewards to those reporting the violation had not gone down well with commuters, who had claimed that the passengers would not have any incentive to report the errant drivers.

On Monday, PMPML said its CMD Nayana Gunde has approved the new scheme under which the fine amount will be doubled and half of the collected fine will go to residents for reporting the wrongdoing.

“Former CMD (Mundhe) had discontinued the scheme after observing that only a few people were receiving the cash rewards, adding to doubts over the motive behind the exercise. However, it did reduce people’s participation in the scheme. Hence, cash rewards have been re-introduced,” said an official.

Dattatraya Mane, Traffic Manager, PMPML, said a minor change in the scheme would also help in reining in individuals who go around chasing PMPML drivers in order to earn money from the scheme.

“As per new scheme, one individual can only earn the rewards thrice a month. If he reports, more than three drivers a month, from fourth case onwards entire penalty amount will go to Employee’s Welfare Fund,” said Mane.

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