No lessons learnt, buses and depots still vulnerable

In the German Bakery blasts case, terrorists are believed to have brought explosives from Udgir in Beed district to Pune by an ST bus and alighted at Shivajinagar bus-stand. MSRTC officials have still not tightened security at Shivajinagar, Swargate and Pune bus stations. In the Jangli Maharaj Road blasts, investigators say IM suspects brought explosives from a Kasarwadi flat by a PMPML bus.

At Shivajinagar bus-stand, there are no metal detectors or baggage scanners. There are at least four gates. The two main gates are for buses, but passengers freely use them. Unclaimed bags are found all over the premises and in buses. Conductors say they have no authority to examine the bags. "We hand over the bags to the depot manager," said a conductor. The Swargate bus-stand, which draws most of the crowd and where the infamous Mane incident originated, continues to be a vulnerable spot as also the Pune station ST bus-stand. Local state transport officials said they had submitted a proposal to higher-ups to step up security at the bus-stands, and were awaiting their response.

PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said they had demanded CCTV cameras at some key bus-stands like PMC headquarters, Deccan, Pune station and Swargate. "We have also created awareness among drivers and conductors about unclaimed objects or suspicious characters carrying luggage," he said.

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