There’s hard work, there’s talent, there’s hard work combined with talent, and then there is the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML).
Virat Kohli is good, maybe Sachin was better, and Sir Vivian Richards better still. Who knows? Nobody argues, however, that the Don was at a different level altogether. And so it is with the gift that doesn’t stop giving, the peerless, the one and only PMPML.
Just the other day, I opened up my newspaper in the morning, and got my early morning guffaws without even getting a chance to get to the cartoon section. Here’s the headline that leapt out:
“PMPML clueless about fire audit not happening”
Now, leave aside the minor quibble that a good editor would have snipped off the last five words as being unnecessary. I, as any other true blue Punekar would have, hastened to read the rest of the article to try and find out what the paragons of efficiency had managed to get up to this time around.
The story goes like this: during a press conference, somebody asked a question about the fire audit. Regular readers of this column will already know that the buses in our fair city have the unfortunate tendency to catch fire every now and then (its true, I assure you and your bulging eyes, dear uninitiated reader).
And as a quite reasonable consequence, the dutiful press corps wanted to know the result of whatever fire audit had been conducted.
Still pending, was the response. The person in question then went on to say that the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) was working on the report. And, as a gratis topping of sorts on an already extremely weird sundae, that until then, buses that caught fire would be treated as a maintenance issue.
Now, I’m sad to report that I wasn’t there, on the spot as these events unfolded, but I like to imagine that there would have been the odd furrowed brow. Maybe the clearing of throats, the scraping of footwear, and a general spirit of enquiry among the reporters present about who would break the news to the PMPML.
The news being the fact that the CIRT had rejected the PMPML’s request to carry out the audit about two months ago. They did not have, they said (and remember, this was two months ago), the requisite expertise to ascertain why buses were catching fire.
And so, for the last two months, the CIRT hasn’t been doing the audit they said they wouldn’t do, and the PMPML has been waiting for the audit report that the CIRT has said it will not produce.
And in other, totally unrelated news from about three days ago, 45 passengers escaped narrowly when they bus that they were in – you guessed it – caught fire.
This in fact, is why the press conference was being held in the first place. To assuage our fears, and to let us know that the PMPML was on top of things.
Colour me reassured.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
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