Pune has always been infamous for its reckless driving, but when the city’s own public transport contributes to the mayhem, it becomes a larger than life issue to tackle..
Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal (PMPML) buses have off late been involved in a spate of accidents with reckless and indifferent drivers at the wheel.
10 months data in the year 2017, revealed that 90 accidents took place in the city, killing 17 people and injuring several others.
An official from PMPML (who wishes to stay anonymous) however said, the bus drivers are trained at regular intervals and given strict orders to follow the traffic rules. Commuters can launch their complaint on the helplines provided by PMPML and strict action is taken against the errant drivers.
Traffic police have also been instructed to send the bus number and time to PMPML, if a driver is found violating the traffic rule. The concerned report is sent to the respected bus depot which in turn takes strict action or fines the driver, he adds.
The regular commuters however had a different story to narrate when Pune365 spoke to them on the PMPML services.
A senior citizen Ganpat More, a regular traveller in PMPML busses say the drivers are so careless, that they don’t even wait for the senior citizens to get on the bus.
Firstly they don’t halt at the bus stops and after that, when you try catching the same bus at the signal, they don’t open the door.
Am well aware that boarding a bus on signal is not allowed, but what else can we do when the drivers don’t halt at the bus stops? They only halt at a decided stop where they see a PMPML inspector.
Also, the conductors are rude and ill-mannered. If you don’t tender change, they ask you to get down from the bus. Often it also happens that the conductor says that he’ll give change and back answers arrogantly.
Despite complaining about their behaviour on their website, no action is taken against them. According to me, they should keep a PMPML security person in every bus, the number of working buses is insufficient anywise, More added.
Travelling in a PMPML bus is a nightmare says a PHd student Ayat Shaikh. The problem is with the PMPML management, which has led the drivers to have a laid back attitude.
Bus staff are not cordial and always speak in their regional language and if you couldn’t understand and ask them again, they answer back with a rude retort. I have recently moved to the city and this smart City lacks smartness.
Half the drivers working in PMPML are rash drivers. I have never witnessed a PMPML driver following the traffic rules if the traffic policemen are not present.
Adding to that they never fined which fuels this indifferent behaviour, if we live in a democratic country and rules are the same for everyone, why isn’t action taken against government drivers?
I have a sincere request to the PMPML chief that he must travel without notice in their buses to get a sense of the situation on the ground, Ayat adds.
This top-ranking city has the worst public transport and the PMPML buses are a shame for the city, says Ujwal Pandit, Professor.
Buses are not maintained well, leading to breakdowns and causing massive traffic jams. And this is despite the fact that drivers are told to check their buses half an hour prior before they start the journey.
They drive so recklessly that one cannot be sure about reaching your destination.
The bus stops are placed just to waste the taxpayers money and their driver never halt the buses at the respective bus stops. Commuters have to make their way through the traffic to board the bus. What if a passenger gets injured while boarding the bus, will PMPML take the responsibility?
Pandit further complains that the driver will only halt the bus if there are people to get down at that stop. Additionally, they violate almost all the traffic rules. They don’t use indicators, overtake recklessly, and do not adhere to traffic signals. All this is adding to the spate of accidents daily, resulting in personal injury to passing motorists. It was stated that a few motorists were putting forward a claim of compensation due to the reckless driving of the bus drivers. A motorist commented that they were seeking the aid of lawyers for their accident claim, ensuring that they chose one that specializes in PI law.
Jignesh Parekh, a businessman says, Am not a commuter of PMPML but am always scared when there is a PMPML bus next to me or ahead of me, They barely care about the other vehicles on the road.
PMPML buses have banged my vehicle twice in a year, and despite lodging an FIR, no action was taken against the driver.
They always protect the government servant saying that brakes were not working or give some other technical excuse. Not only me, there are thousands of people whose vehicles are in miserable condition with these buses banging into them.
Whose fault is it even if it was a technical problem? The drivers are supposed to check before they proceed with the journey. Sudden inspections and regular drives of teaching the drivers basic traffic rules must be implemented. This is seriously affecting our ease of living, Parkhe added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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