PMPML commuters have always had to battle with the inefficiency of the system, but now, fear seems to have taken over in the light of the innumerable buses going up in flames in the city.
In yet another recent incident, commuters were lucky to have safely evacuated before their bus caught went up in flames on the Pune-Solapur road near Ramtekdi bus stand.
The incident took place during the peak hour, disrupting traffic for some time. Approximately 45 passengers were on board the bus when the driver noticed smoke from the engine compartment.
Speaking to Pune365, city based automobile engineer, Sanket Jawale said, “The reasons for the increasing fires in the city buses is due to the poor maintenance of the busses.
These buses are very old and should be scrapped, yet, they are still being used at the risk of the life of the commuters.
There is no inspection of the buses due to which the faulty, old, rusty engines and wiring breakdown or lead to short circuits causing fires.
Such instances can be avoided if basic training is given to the drivers and if they are maintained properly. A mandatory check on the busses must be carried out before they leave the depot.
Installing fire extinguishers in the bus should be a priority of PMPML now, though they claim having it in some buses!
There have been almost 20 busses catching fire from January this year, yet no firm initiative is taken to ensure inspection. With the exception of Pune, most other cities are spending huge budgets on enhancing their public transport.
Public transport is a crucial part of urban planning and the only way through which the vehicular population can be brought under the control.The buses going up in flames is a symptom of the very deep mismanagement and breakdown of basic procedures in PMPML.
In any other organization, not only would the problem have been fixed, but the responsible person would have been identified and sacked.
Clearly, PMPML needs to be held criminally liable for their lapses, adds Gadgil.
Travelling by PMPML is a huge risk! The repeated instances of fires in buses has clearly proved the indifference of the authorities towards the basic need of citizens- public transport, says Anita Deshpande, Active Citizen.
Alighting safe and sound from a PMPML bus has become a matter of sheer luck now.
Their buses are clearly not safe besides being overcrowded and have drivers who have not adequately trained. The rampant cases of rash driving have left many injured.
When Is PMPML going to be held responsible for these mishaps?
The authorities of PMPML have been promising safe and efficient transport for the past several years, but nothing seems to be getting addressed yet.
If they cant, I think it is time that Pune privatises the public transport completely to give consumers a safe medium of travel.
Our city is termed as the most liveable city, yet, there can be no city that is smart enough with a public transport system that has so many issues and drawbacks, Deshpande added.
#All views are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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