The state government on Friday appointed Rajendra Jagtap as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). PMPML has suffered heavy losses as most of its buses have remained off-road since March-end owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jagtap, who had previously headed Pune Smart City Project, will replace Nayana Gunde, who was transferred out in February 2019 but continued to look after PMPML in an additional capacity. Vijay Suryavanshi, an IAS officer who then posted as Raigad Collector, was to replace Gunde, but was later appointed as Commissioner of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation. Gunde presently holds the post of Deputy Director-General of YASHADA, Pune.
After assuming charge on Friday, Jagtap called a meeting of heads of various department of the transport body to review how the transport body was dealing with the situation caused by the ongoing pandemic and resultant lockdown. Senior officials said that issues such as bus operations for the essential staff of state government and PMC, Pushpak Service for the transport of dead bodies, services being provided to various government bodies as per demand for specific purposes and temporary deployment of PMPML staffers to work with PMC and PCMC were also discussed in the meeting.
Jagtap is an Indian Defence Estate Service officer (IDES) and is on deputation with the Maharashtra government since 2012. He served as the additional municipal commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) from 2012 to 2017 before being appointed as CEO of PSCDCL. He was appointed as the CEO for one year in June 2017 and his service was extended till June 2019. Later, he was again granted an extension of two years. In November 2019, he was relieved of his PSCDCL charge.
Jagtap said that due to Covid-19 situation, the finances of PMPML have gone from bad to worse although the transport body has pitched in its service whenever required during the last three months. Jagtap said PMPML buses might be back on road for public use in a month, if the Covid-19 situation doesn’t go downhill.
“Public transport is an essential service and, world over, is not seen as profit making enterprise. During the present crisis, the PMPML has suffered very badly financially and its situation has gone from bad to worse. At the moment, only 225 buses are on the road providing various essential services. We will soon start planning to open up our service to the general public by following the necessary social-distancing precaution and sanitation requirements. We are hoping that in a month, we should be able to open for general public,” Jagtap told The Indian Express.
The transport body has seen 15 CMDs in the last 12 years with some having a term as short as six days while others headed it for a few months. Jagtap is the 16th CMD of the transport body. Of the previous 15, only four CMDs lasted for over a year. Also, of the 15 CMDs, eight officers had additional charge of the post while seven were full-time appointees.
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