Pune: The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) on Thursday clarified that its bus transport service will not resume in July, but is likely to start on 30 selected routes in August. The PMPML administration and staff has made all preparations to restart the bus service in the city once the higher authorities give permission.
The PMPML bus service came to a halt after lockdown was imposed in the city on March 18. The bus service was also stopped in Pimpri-Chinchwad city. When the state government removed Pimpri-Chinchwad city from the red zone and declared it as green zone, PMPML restarted its services on May 26 in Pimpri and Chinchwad routes. However, buses are not plying on the Pune city routes yet.
PMPML Director and Corporator Shankar Pawar has requested Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad to start PMPML bus service in Pune city. If auto rickshaws can be allowed to operate in the city then why not PMPML buses, Pawar had questioned recently. But Commissioner Gaikwad has not yet given a green signal to PMP to restart its operations.
Presently, PMPML buses are operational for only those employees who are engaged in essential services permitted by the state government. Around 80 buses are plying on roads in Pimpri-Chinchwad and 100 in Pune city. Since the government has relaxed the lockdown, the attendance in government offices has increased and thus commuters are demanding more PMPML buses to be operational on roads. Considering this demand, the PMPML administration has allowed 20 more buses in Pune city.
Anant Waghmare, Transport Manager of PMPML , had called a meeting of all depot in-charge of PMPML on Thursday (July 2) to discuss the bus service resumption issue. He said, “The administration has also prepared a plan to start bus service on 30 selected routes in Pune city if the higher authorities permit them. This decision will be taken by Divisional Commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar, District Collector Naval Kishor Ram and PMC Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad.”
“There is low response to PMPML bus service in Pimpri Chinchwad area. Also, only one person is allowed to occupy the seat where earlier two passengers could be accommodated. Social distancing norms are being strictly implemented by PMPML staff,” Waghmare added.