Six-seaters the bane of

Overloading, plying without licence plates are some of the issues commuters have to face in the absence of PMPML buses; the RTO has been mum so far
For those travelling from Vishrantwadi’s main chowk to Lo hegaon through Dhanori Road, commuting has be come a laborious task as, due to dwindling numbers of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) buses, people are having to rely on the six-seater autos.Though most of these are plying illegally with too many passengers and without number plates, no action is been taken by the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO). On June 26, in a major accident, 18 passengers lost their lives and seven others were seriously injured after a truck crashed into a jeep. The jeep was overcrowded and was illegally transporting the passengers. After this, the state transport department had ordered all RTOs to take strict action against transport vehicles illegally carrying large number of passengers. But, the six-seaters seem to fly under the RTO’s radar. “I travel to Lohegaon every day by these shared autos that wait at Vishrantwadi Chowk. We do not have the time to wait for PMPML buses. One auto takes 8 to 10 passengers and it is dangerous, especially with the rain.If PMPML gives us more buses and starts a shuttle service on this route, it will benefit thousands of passengers,“ said Parveen Ansari, a resident of Lohegaon. Nilesh Jadhav, another regular commuter, said, “The auto drivers even fight among themselves over taking passengers. Dhanori Road has many housing societies and school students and working professionals travel daily on this route. The RTO should take strict action against these autos.“During peak hours, a queue of these six-seaters is seen on Dhanori Road. Four passengers on the middle seat, two at the back and sometimes two passengers beside the driver. The charges are between Rs 5 and Rs 20.Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the drivers told Mirror, “Many of the autos are over the age limit of 10 years. We buy them at very low prices. And, as this part of the city comes on the fringes, RTO inspectors don’t come here frequently. On an average, every driver earns Rs 100 to Rs 150 per round. The more passengers we take, the more we earn.“ Pune deputy regional transport officer, Sanjay Raut, said, “I will look into this area and send our RTO inspectors on Monday to check these autos. If the autos are overloaded and without number plates, strict action will be taken against them.“

PMPML traffic manager, Anant Waghmare, said, “Till the Vishrantwadi Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) stop, buses are running with good frequency. However, if necessary, we will give more buses and a shuttle service will be started soon.“

Source : TOI