Mayor, PMPML director smell a rat in bus outsourcing tender process

City Mayor Vaishali Bankar and PMPML director Prashant Jagtap have alleged irregularities in the tender process of a contract given by the transport body to a private firm for running buses owned by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML).

The PMPML is set to get 500 buses under the Union government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and is planning to a outsource 200 of these CNG buses to a private firm Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions Private Ltd. The transport service will pay Rs 29.9 per km to the private firm for operation and maintenance of the buses while the PMPML will keep the revenue earned through the fares. A proposal to appoint the private company is under consideration by the board of directors.

Bankar and Jagtap alleged that the members of the Board of Directors were not taken into confidence while carrying out the tender process. They also alleged that though a final proposal for the contract hasn't been cleared by the Board, the contract has been allotted to the firm.

"This contract will result in huge losses to the transport body and huge profits for private firm. Though the JNNURM has suggested that these buses can be given to the private operators, we don't need to do that in Pune. PMPML can easily operate all these buses and there is no need to rope in any private firm," Jagtap said.

The contract system started in 2006. According to the contract, the contractor gets their own bus, driver, pay for the fuel and takes care of the maintenance, at the rate of Rs 29 per km. PMPML only provides the conductors. Now, for the first time, PMPML will give their own buses to the contractor and will also pay the contractor Rs 29 per km.

Jagtap also complained about the working of the PMPML and said alleged that the directors didn't have a say in the working of the transport body. "Most of the directors are not included in the decision making process. Most of us are only approached when they need our signs on policy issues. We are mere spectators at the board meeting" Jagtap said.

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