Pune: District Collector Naval Kishore Ram has ordered that Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) should restart their service in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad city areas for the convenience of about 10 thousand passengers arriving and departing from railway station and airport every day.
PMPML has accordingly started to plan the routes and timings of these buses which would operate for ferrying passengers from Pune Railway Station and Lohegaon Airport. The PMPML is expected to announce this plan by Wednesday (July 15) evening.
The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations have imposed a lockdown for 10 days in the city jurisdictions from July 14. However, railway and airline traffic is operational in the country. It includes 200 routes by train and connectivity to eight cities by air from Pune. The Lohegaon airport has 25 to 30 flights operating daily while the railways are having 13 trips every day. About 10 thousand passengers are travelling to and from Pune city by the rail and air route.
When asked about the PMPML bus operations being resumed, Anant Waghmare, Traffic Manager of PMPML said, “The District Collector has issued orders to start bus services from Pune Railway station and Lohegaon airport. He has written to the PMPML to start services in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities. We are now working out the plan and will restart bus services soon.”
PMPML Director and Corporator Shankar Pawar too had requested Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar to start bus services from Lohegaon airport and Pune railway station.
The civic and district administration had earlier offered auto-rickshaw and cab services option to passengers arriving and departing from the railway station and airport. Private vehicles use was also permitted for passengers. But many passengers had complained that they had to pay exorbitant charges for the transport vehicle services and they had no other option to travel.
PMPML buses are presently operating only 125 buses for ferrying individuals engaged in essential services. PMPML is earning a revenue of Rs 2 lakh daily from it. PMPML officials are confident that if the number of buses are increased, then additional passengers can be accommodated. “PMPML would check for railway and airline tickets before allowing passengers to board the bus. This way we can regulate the passenger count for maintaining social distancing norms,” said one official.