Pune to put brakes on city bus services to rural belts from Nov 26; NCP’s Supriya Sule warns of protest

With Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML), the public transport bus service provider for Pune city in Maharashtra, deciding to phase out its services to rural areas citing financial loss, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supirya Sule has warned of launching agitation against the decision till the services are restored.

The PMPML, the company jointly owned by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), has decided to close down various routes from the city to rural areas outside the city limits. The decision is to be implemented in phases from Saturday.

“It is my request to the PMPML authorities that the bus service from the city to the rural area should be continued. If they are not continued then the poor residents, mainly students, and small traders would suffer. The NCP will launch agitation against the decision and I will participate in it,” said Sule.

The NCP MP said that it was improper for the PMPML to take a decision on discontinuing the bus service on the basis of profit and loss. “The state government should intervene and ensure that the bus service continues in the rural area alongside the city,” she said.

Sule said that the PMPML service is the mode of travel for children of poor families in rural areas who come to the city for education, and workers and provides an opportunity for the small traders of the villages to sell their products in the city.

In the first phase, the PMPML decided to stop services on 11 routes to rural areas and divert the buses to routes within the city where there is more demand. The PMPML has been providing bus service to all villages adjoining PMC and PCMC areas with more routes getting introduced during lockdown after the state government- run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) service got affected.

The PMC and PCMC have been bearing the financial loss of PMPML every year and the civic bodies had requested the state government to make the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) also pay for the losses as the bus service was available in the metropolitan region as well.

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