Pune: PMPML Plans To Resume E-Bus Service At Sinhagad Fort After Safety Improvements

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Pune, 13th June 2023: The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has decided to revive the electric bus (e-bus) service at Sinhagad Fort, considering the significant influx of visitors during the monsoon season. Last year, the e-bus service was discontinued within 15 days of its introduction, but now, PMPML has taken the initiative to restart the service after implementing necessary safety measures.

A joint meeting was conducted between PMPML and forest department officials to discuss the revival of the service. During the meeting, several decisions were made, including repairing the Ghat section, conducting trials of the e-buses, and collaborating with the forest department and other government agencies for a comprehensive safety survey of the Ghat section.

Also, PMPML plans to add seven mid-size e-buses to their fleet in preparation for the resumption of the service within the next few months, subject to the successful implementation of the plan.

Om Prakash Bakoria, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of PMPML, stated, “Our senior officials will visit the Sinhagad Fort Ghat section along with forest department officials to assess the condition of the road and overall safety measures for bus movement. We will specifically inspect a curve on the Ghat section that may pose a risk of accidents. A detailed report will be submitted based on the observations made by our civil, mechanical, and chief traffic managers.”

Bakoria further explained, “We also discussed the importance of reducing the length of the buses. Previously, the buses were nine meters long, but now we plan to introduce seven-meter-long midi buses for the e-bus service. After the survey has been completed and the report has been submitted, our efforts will be directed towards resuming the service. We need to plan for charging stations, parking facilities, and other logistics required for the operation.”

Pradip Sankpal, Range Forest Officer of Pune Forest Range, expressed his views, saying, “As the rainy season commences, we anticipate an increase in visitors, and it is essential to ensure a safe e-bus service through PMPML. Hence, a thorough inspection of the Ghat Road will be conducted.”

The e-bus service was inaugurated on May 1, 2022, by the then Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar, and commenced operations on May 2, 2022. Within the span of May 2 to May 16, 2022, approximately 47,000 passengers availed the e-bus service, generating a revenue of Rs 22 lakhs. The initial e-buses had a length of nine meters and a seating capacity of 32. However, due to safety concerns, the service was halted in the Ghat section from May 17, 2022, while private vehicles were still permitted to access the top of Sinhagad Fort.


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