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Sep 2014

12:18 pm UTC

Shivajinagar: Shockingly, as many as 550 Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) buses out of a total fleet of 1,968 buses are off the road every day due to mechanical faults and lack of spare parts.
To make matters worse, as many as 43 compressed natural gas (CNG) operated buses, from a total of 83 purchased for the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) of 2008, have been lying idle for three years at the Nehru Nagar and Tanaji Wadi depots.
The CYG buses had been purchased to send home the ‘Go Green’ message of the games. With the abysmal financial status of the PMPML, the transport utility is unable to buy spares and other material to carry out the maintenance and repairs of the buses.
The maintenance staff at various depots lamented that the supply of spares and other materials is extremely erratic, affecting their work.
PMPML Chairman & Managing Director RN Joshi told Sakal Times that the transport utility was under severe financial crisis, which was affecting its business. “Such is the financial health of PMPML that we are even unable to pay our contractors, which in turn is affecting the availability of spares. The maintenance of the buses is getting adversely affected, forcing us to keep several buses off roads,” said Joshi.
According to PMPML officials, majority of the buses plying on the roads belong to private contractors. “The buses belonging to the contractors are the saving grace for PMPML. The contractors are using their own resources to maintain the buses,” a senior PMPML official said.

Fleet Strength
PMPML Buses – 1,268
Buses hired on PPP model – 200
Buses hired on rent – 500
Total buses – 1,968
Daily average buses on road -1,300 to 1400

The sorry state of the PMPML has already been highlighted. Team Sakal Times visited two PMPML depots in the city to assess the situation.

Factfile of the PMPML’s Stores & Maintenance Department

PMPML needs 2,700 various types of spare parts
Every month spares worth Rs 90 lakh required
Computerization of depots still incomplete, which is adversely affecting stock management.
PMPML has to depend on automobile companies as some spares are unavailable in the open market. Supply from companies is a time-consuming exercise.
Just one percent of the total 1,200 employees working in the PMPML workshops have technical knowledge to repair and maintain the buses, including the CNG-operated ones, properly.
For the first time, PMPML appointed over 100 ITI-passed technicians at the workshop department in 2013.
Although, the cost of CNG is less than diesel, the maintenance of CNG-run buses is four times higher than the buses operating on diesel.

“It is true that many of the buses of the depot are off the road. At times, the depot does not get the spares from the central store, which affects the repairs of the vehicles. Moreover, we have to keep buses off the road for routine check-up.” –Vilas Gawade, PMPML’s Katraj Depot Manager

“In our depot, all the buses are CNG-operated. We are trying our best to keep maximum buses on the road. The buses which are stranded at the depot need heavy repairs.”— Kumar Thorve, PMPM’s Narveer Tanaji Wadi Depot Manager

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