Pune: The PMPML has been taking strict action against contractors, who have not been providing proper facilities to commuters. This change has taken place from the day CMD Tukaram Mundhe took charge of the public transport body in March this year.
In the past six months, Mundhe has cracked the whip on contract bus owners for not supplying buses to depots on time, not attending to breakdowns and not maintaining cleanliness of buses.
Around Rs 12 crore has been collected as fine from the contract bus owners.
PMPML sources said Mundhe is a no-nonsense officer. “He is not only cracking down on the contract bus drivers and conductors, but also those on the PMPML payrolls,” source said.
According to a PMPML official, “The contractors were not providing buses on time. When he launched an inquiry into the issue, he found that this was not the first time contractors were doing so. This has been a practice for the past several years.”
Of the 1,833 buses being run by the PMPML at present, 653 are run by private contractors. Among them, 143 buses are from Mahalaxmi Automotive Pvt Ltd Co, 143 are from Mahalaxmi Transport, 154 from Travel Time Car Rental, 110 from BVG India, 103 by Antony Garage and 200 buses belong to Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions.
Mundhe said, “We are just evaluating operations for the six peak hours, not even the daily 16 hours of operations. Action has been taken as per the legal clauses mentioned in the agreements. They have to provide 90 per cent of buses everyday, which they have not done in the past three years.”
A private contractor on condition of anonymity said, “They fined us for skipping stops and for breakdowns. We have tried to talk to officials, but no one listened. The fine for breakdowns jumped from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 in April. The fine for skipping stops is Rs 100 per instance. PMPML’s report is contrary to our agreement. At this rate, we are not in a position to run buses. We will stop operations by this weekend.”
Reacting to this, PMPML chief Tukaram Mundhe said, “The PMPML has an agreement with the contractors. Action was taken as per the agreement. If we act against them as per the provisions in the agreement in totality, they will land in more trouble.”
Break-up of fine
† PMPML has recovered fines from private contractors amounting to Rs 40.13 lakh for not providing buses on time, Rs 35.18 lakh for faults, Rs 6.57 lakh for misbehaving with commuters, Rs 42 lakh for not running buses as per the agreements, Rs 1.19 crore for breakdowns, Rs 4 lakh for over-speeding on BRTS routes, Rs 3 lakh for not running buses on schedule and Rs 60 lakh for other reasons.