Pune: An RTI query has revealed that the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal (PMPML) has imposed a fine of Rs 14.21 lakh on contractual bus owners and also on its drivers and conductors for failure to provide satisfactory services to commuters. Out of the total amount, fine of Rs 12.81 lakh was imposed on private bus contractors from 41,980 complaints received from commuters from July 2017 to December 2018. The PMPML also imposed a fine Rs 1.4 lakh on its own drivers and conductors for failing to provide satisfactory service to commuters.
An RTI (Right To Information) activist Rupesh Kesekar obtained the information from PMPML to find out whether the grievance redressal mechanism was ‘profitable’ or ‘unprofitable’ for PMPML.
The information showed that PMPML had to spend Rs 9.55 lakh for running the telephone line and sending updates about the grievances to the passengers.
However, the revenue these complaints generate (by way of collection of fines) results is one-and-a-half times more than they spend.
“Presently, a commuter who wants to register a grievance has to spend money as the helpline and SMS facility is not toll-free. Whenever a demand has been made to make the facility toll-free, PMPML has said that the proposal is financially unattractive.
The RTI information, however, shows that the PMPML gets quite a bit of revenue from the complaints and if they manage the helpline properly, it will pay for itself,” said Kesekar.
As per the information, PMPML’s telephone helpline (020-24545454) remains the most popular grievance registration forum with about 16,100 complainants, followed by those registering it online using the PMP e-Connect app and website (around 13,500), WhatsApp (5,211) among others.
Complaints raised mostly consist of drivers not stopping the bus at the bus stop, the bus having broken seats, lack of first aid box, lack of fire fighting equipment, plying late, rash driving, violation of traffic rules, talking over mobile while driving, issuing wrong ticket, beating up passengers, pocketing the change among other things.
- Complaint received from PMP e-connect and website: 13,500.
- Complaint by WhatsApp: 5,211
- Running the telephone line and sending updates costs PMPML `9.55 lakh.
- Received 41,980 complaints from commuters from July 2017 to December 2018.
- PMPML has imposed a fine of `12.81 lakh on private contractors.
- PMPML has imposed a fine `1.4 lakh on its own drivers and conductors.