“Bus schedules for PMPML rural routes will be gradually reduced to 45%. We will also slowly reduce rural roads,” said a PMPML official.
The move comes after the MSRTC, which recently emerged from a six-month strike, asked it to stop buses on rural routes so that the latter could resume operations.
“According to established regulations, if PMPML is to start a bus service within 20 km beyond municipal areas, it must obtain prior authorization from the MSRTC. In the recent past, PMPML has launched many such routes without telling us. We have written to the PMPML and other senior district administration officials about this. With our buses back in service, we want our routes back,” an MSRTC official stressed.
The official said the latest communication from PMPML was that it plans to close some of these roads from June 1. “We don’t want a confrontation, otherwise the business of both carriers will suffer. Ideally, the PMPML should operate buses in both areas of the company, but they extend more widely. Such operations hamper our business as we try to get back on our feet,” another MSRTC official said.
A PMPML official said his intention was to help commuters during the MSRTC strike. “Our buses have helped thousands of commuters and we’ve seen some great deals on rural routes. The idea was to help commuters as MSRTC buses weren’t running for months,” the official pointed out.