Pune: In a bid to improve the public transport in the city, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to take help from private companies.
Responding to the party’s appeal, Force Motors Limited has stepped forward to provide AC buses on busy routes in the city such as Kothrud, Wadgaon Sheri and Katraj. Force India has sent a proposal in this regard to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to start AC minibuses on busier routes in the city.
According to the proposal submitted by Force Motors, the revenue sharing agreement will be made after conducting the successful pilot run for three months. The tickets and pass rates will be at par with the non-AC buses run by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd
The transport body can then float the tender for a contract period of minimum five years and this process will also give a chance to other operators to submit their proposals, mentions Force Motors.
The proposal states that there is an overwhelming demand among citizens for mini AC buses. The private company has shared that it is ready to provide bus services on net contract /royalty contract system.
The company mentions that it would initially propose the ‘Traveller AC diesel minibuses on Pune Station–Kothrud and return, Swargate–Kothrud and return, Pune Station–Vadgaon Sheri and return. All the buses will run at the interval of 7 to 10 minutes. The frequency can be further increased depending on the traffic density on these routes.
Girish Kulkarni, Head of Government and Defence Business of Force Motors Limited also mentioned in the proposal that there will be no investment by PMC or PMPML for running these mini AC bus services, as the entire manpower will be invested by the operator stakeholder.
Kulkarni said that advertisement opportunity on these buses will rest with the operator stakeholder. The traffic operation of the buses will be controlled by PMPML as the traffic operational rules and regulations will be binding on these buses also.
Yogesh Gogawale, BJP city unit president said, “Party has appealed to several companies to support to improve the public transport system. We got one proposal which we sent to the municipal commissioner for checking viability.”
Ajay Charthankar, Joint Chairman and Managing Director of PMPML said, “I don’t have details of the proposal as they have sent it to the municipal commissioner. We have to check the proposal whether they are giving these buses through CSR funds or any other mode. We don’t have a problem if they are ready to provide buses as a CSR activity.”
Gogawale further added, “ PMPML needs 3,000 buses. However, they have only 1,300 buses. They don’t have money to purchase the remaining. If the corporation wants to raise money to buy remaining buses, they have to increase taxes but we don’t want to put an additional burden on people. So, we are appealing industry to support us.”
Jugal Rathi, Founder of PMPML Pravasi Manch, said, “It is a welcome move. But it should be sustainable and reliable one. Commuters want reliable and prompt service. If it gives Force Motors, we don’t have any problem. BJP should not give only promises on the background of upcoming elections. They should run it successfully.”