Pune’s Public transport system has unfortunately always been the last option for our commuters, despite it being an imminent need in cities like ours.
Among the several reasons behind this, safety is a major concern that is often being compromised and impacting the passengers and other commuters on our city roads.
According to a report, there are around 200 PMPML buses plying daily, with 11 lakh passengers travelling, across Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
For the record, Road Transport Authority rules specify that every bus must be equipped with a first-aid box, fire extinguisher, working emergency exits and reliable locks on the doors of the vehicles etc.
Nikhil Kadam, Social Activist says, “Public transport delivers more benefits than a private transport, it helps curb the traffic congestion and help reduce air pollution. That is why it is very essential to promote the public transport, however, in Pune, we have the most disgusting public transport option.”
A large amount of our population is dependent on PMPML busses as we do not have a local train system that connect all our locations.
On the safety aspect, Kadam says, it is a matter of least concern for PMC and PMPML. Their buses are not maintained adequately well, due to which there are sudden fires in the buses and regular breakdowns. There have been many instances where we notice the drivers are not trained to handle basic repair work or even handle safety measures.
Forget about the GPS-based, real-time tracking and route information, there is not even a first aid box in several buses.
Comfort and safety of the travellers have been compromised time and again. Overloading of our buses is another dangerous trend seen.
In my opinion, the drivers and the conductors should be trained well on basic safety drills to avoid panic. It should be the conductor’s responsibility to check the first aid box, fire extinguishers etc.
GPS tracking is very essential for a smart city and ensuring the safety of women is essential, irrespective time of the day. Helplines, applications and SOS buttons should be installed in the busses.
The PMC and PMPML fail to understand that an efficient public transport enhances the economy of a state which shouldn’t be compromised, Kadam added.
Asha Kate, Activist opines, “The definition of a smart city is that it is an urban region that is highly developed in terms of infrastructure, public transport, communications, security and so on..
We are supposed to be a smart city yet, neither do we have good public transport nor safety and security in using it.”
Kate further added, The PMPML buses should have a good ticketing system, security surveillance with CCTVs in the buses and other modes of public transport, travelling police at nights and real time information for passengers.
This city can be called a smart city only when we have smart transportation, Kate added.
The guarantee of reaching safely and on time without a breakdown. When this is achieved like in the case of the Delhi metro, only then will we see more and more people using public transport regularly, says Yash Vaidik, a Marketing executive.
If you talk about personal security, nothing can be fool proof but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything for safety. Commuters also should be able to defend or act wisely at a basic level.
Equipment like emergency brakes and cameras are essential for both the safety of people and property. And most importantly. well trained and good mannered conductors and drivers on duty, Yash added.
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