Pune: If flights, railways, cabs and autos are allowed then why not PMPML buses? This question has been raised by the public utility company of the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations.
The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has written to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to restart the bus services in their respective jurisdictions. It has also said that physical distancing norms will be followed while operating the buses.
In his letter to the civic bodies, Rajendra Jagtap, Managing Director and President of PMPML has said “The PMPML bus service can be started in both the cities by following physical distancing norms. Buses will operate with only half the number of permitted passengers in order to maintain the physical distance between two individuals.”
“If the services are allowed to resume operations, then in the first phase, long distance routes will be considered on which buses will ply. Buses will not be operated in areas or roads through the containment zones demarcated by the municipal corporations. If bus services are resumed in a phased manner, it will also be of great convenience to the passengers,” Jagtap has said in the letter.
“Air and railway transport along with cab and auto-rickshaw transport services have been allowed by the government and municipal corporations. Similarly, PMPML buses should also be allowed to operate in the cities,” he has stated.
PMPML is presently operating 225 buses for ferrying persons engaged in essential and exempted services. The service was halted in March after a nationwide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the city. The public utility company has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 150 crore due to the abrupt halting of its services. Most of the PMPML employees have been sent on deputation to PMC for COVID-related duties like home-to-home survey of citizens.
Several organisations working in the interest of passengers of public transport systems have also demanded that the PMPML bus services should be resumed in larger public interest.