PMPML bus catches fire; committee fails to find solution

Sushant Ranjan
Thursday, 31 January 2019

This is the third incident in January. On January 4, two buses viz. one near Sancheti Hospital and another one coming to a depot after getting fitness certificate from RTO at Dive Ghat, caught fire.

PUNE: Despite a meeting of the 12-member action committee, which was set up after several fire incidents were reported on Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) buses in last few months, a bus caught fire yet again on Wednesday.

As many as 35 passengers barely managed to escape when Nigdi-Katraj bus (MH 12 KQ 1186) caught fire near RMD Sinhgad School on the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway near Warje. The incident took place at 11.30 am. As per the information provided by the fire department, driver Ramesh Ugle detected smoke in the bus. He alerted all passengers and asked them to deboard. The bus was completely engulfed by fire after a few minutes.

“The bus was carrying 35 passengers and was coming from Nigdi and going towards Katraj. The alert driver asked the passengers to deboard and as a result, nobody was injured. The CNG bus belongs to the Anthony Garage Private Limited and was being operated on a contract basis. A notice has been sent to the contractor,” said PMPML’s spokesperson Subhash Gaikwad.

This is the third incident in January. On January 4, two buses viz. one near Sancheti Hospital and another one coming to a depot after getting fitness certificate from RTO at Dive Ghat, caught fire. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.

The PMPML administration had formed a committee of 12 members which includes members from Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), RTO and engineers of PMPML on January 8. The committee was formed after a meeting held with Chairman and Managing Director of PMPML Nayana Gunde. During the meeting, it was decided that these members will look into all technical problems, fire audit and inspect all buses every month. The formed committee met first time on January 22 a week after a bus caught fire.

The committee is yet to find a solution to prevent fire accidents. The committee was also instructed to check all buses whether CNG or diesel, visit depots and conduct meetings regularly. It was also instructed that the committee has to conduct a meeting in the first week of every month and the report has to submitted to the CMD. 

The committee comprises Prashant Nikam of ARAI, SN Dhole of CIRT, Anil Panto of RTO, Ganesh Choudhary of Tata Motors, Kamil Nazir of Ashok Leyland, Rahul Darne of Fire Audit Consultant, Ganesh Thate of Anthony Garage Pvt Ltd., Prakash Shirke of Mahalaxmi Automotives, Chief Engineer of PMPML Kailash Gawde, Chief Engineer 1 of PMPML Sunil Burse, Store Manager of PMPML Anant Waghmare and Maintenance Engineer of PMPML Vijay Ranjne. 

According to a highly placed source of PMPML, “The committee has failed to submit its report on fire incidents. The report of the first meeting was also not submitted.”

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