Pune: The Board of Directors of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has deferred its proposal of buying 350 electric buses citing fear of Chinese companies participating in the tender process. Now, the PMPML will be inducting 50 midi-buses instead.
The PMPML has 96 electric buses in its fleet out of which 26 were added in November 2019. These electric buses are operational on 19 routes in the city as only Nigdi and Bhekrainagar depot has the charging points for these buses. BYD, a China-based company with offices in India, was the only company that showed interest in providing the nine-metre-long buses to PMPL. Apart from 25 such buses, the PMP had planned to induct 100 buses which were 12 metre long. Tata Motors, besides BYD, had shown interest in operating these 12m long buses.
Mayor (Pune) Murlidhar Mohol, Mayor (Pimpri-Chinchwad) Usha Dhore, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Standing Committee Chairman Hemant Rasane, Pimpri-Chinchwad (PCMC) Standing Committee Chairman Santosh Londhe, PMPML Director Shankar Pawar, President and Managing Director Nayana Gunde, Joint Managing Director Ajay Charthankar were present in the meeting that was conducted on Monday.
Some directors proposed to cancel the proposal of buying 250 electric buses due to the bad economic condition of the public transport body and also the fear of Chinese companies participating in the tender process. However, the board decided to study this case and defer the proposal till then.
The board also decided to buy 50 small buses in order to provide easy public transport in the peth areas of the city. Mayor Mohol said, "PMPML will charge Rs 10 for the travel through these buses in the core city areas. PMC will buy these 50 buses soon."
The board also took other important decisions too. Since the financial condition of PMPML is not in good health due to Covid-19 situation and lockdown, it has been decided to send PMPML drivers on deputation to other departments of the government. PMPML will provide its drivers to any government department which is in need of drivers. The proposal for this provision has been approved, the directors clarified.