Pune: The Board of Directors (BoD) of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) on Monday rolled back the decision to increase bus pass prices for senior citizens. The decision had been taken by former Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of PMPML, Tukaram Mundhe, in August 2017.
The move had led to a controversy with commuter groups, elected representatives and political leaders terming the hike unfair and anti-commuter. In fact, Mundhe had even received a letter, assumed to be written by senior citizens, threatening him with dire consequences if the hike was not rolled back.
“The Board of Directors meeting took several important decisions including reduction of monthly fares for senior citizen passes from Rs 700 to Rs 500. Also, ‘punching passes’, which were phased out by Mundhe for being uneconomical, will be re-introduced,” said a statement issued by the transport body. Punching passes are popular among students.
The meeting, which was attended by PMPML CMD Nayana Gunde, Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak, PCMC Mayor Nitin Kalaje, Standing Finance Committee (PMC) Chairman Murlidhar Mohol, Standing Finance Committee (PCMC) Chairman Seema Savle, PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar, PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, also decided to seek a legal opinion about procurement of 550 air-conditioned buses for PMPML.
“The proposal was considered and it has been directed that a legal opinion should be sought from law officers from both PMC and PCMC, following which it would be discussed in the next meeting of Board of Directors,” said the statement released to the press.
Mukta Tilak, meanwhile said, “The board has taken a decision to lower the price of senior citizen monthly passes from Rs 700 to Rs 500. Students passes will be also be restarted soon.” She further said, “PMPML will operate 50 new midi buses on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8. The buses will be for everyone and not just women. Besides that, the board has taken a decision to give a chance to 158 suspended PMPML employees to explain themselves. The earlier CMD had taken a one-sided decision without hearing the employees’ side.”
The decision will be sent to the Regional Transport Authority for approval. It will take around 15 days to come into effect.