Despite receiving Rs 2 crores from the Pune Municipal Corporation specifically for this purpose more than 2 years ago, PMPML has failed to prepare a Business Plan. The Business Plan is supposed to have a long-term strategy, vision and goals, made with inputs from the public. It will also define the detailed roadmap of how to achieve these goals, determine the resources that will be required to implement the plan and how to improve the financial health of the company.
In a joint letter addressed to the CMD and the members of the Board of Directors of PMPML several NGOs have pointed out that despite making public statements that improvement in public transport in general and PMPML in particular is essential for solving traffic problems no concrete steps have been taken in this regard.
Jugal Rathi stated that PMPML ridership has been stagnant and there has been no improvement in the overall performance of the company. Vivek Velankar pointed out that there are various ways in which the performance and financial condition of the bus company could be improved but there is no consistent policy followed by the administration. Gen. Jatar said that the Board of Directors is unwilling to prepare a Business Plan as this would prevent ad hoc decision making, which is how it currently operates.
PMPML had floated a tender for the appointment of a consultant to help prepare a Business Plan and received bids from all the top management consultants in the country. Technical evaluation of the bids was done by a committee appointed by PMPML and based on a composite score (technical score + financial bid score) a company has been selected. However some of the Board Members have stalled the appointment.
Sujit Patwardhan said, “It is surprising that after MP Vandana Chavan pushed the PMC to make the budgetary allocation to prepare the Business Plan, now the Board which is dominated by members of the NCP is itself is refusing to appoint an agency to make the Business Plan”. “Political parties keep making empty promises to improve public transport, but time and again we have seen that when it comes to making any substantial decision arbitrary objections are raised. However when it comes to spending hudreds of crores on making new roads and flyovers, no such obstacles are faced”.