At a press conference held on Thursday, Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil announced that Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) employees will receive their salaries as per the seventh pay commission starting from July. The increased salary amount will be given to employees over a period of six months, starting from January. The decision comes as the extended services of the Pune Metro and the purchase of 900 buses, including 300 minibuses, are planned for the coming month. Efforts to reduce PMPML’s losses were also discussed.
Patil highlighted that the inclusion of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (PMRDA) commissioner on the board of directors would contribute to reducing PMPML’s losses. PMRDA has provided ₹50 crore in funding last month. In the meeting, it was decided to clear pending salaries of the PMPML staff. The recommendations of the seventh pay panel, which have been applicable to PMPML employees since January, will now be fully implemented, with employees receiving the full increased salary. The differential amount for the previous months will be given to them in parts over the next six months. It was noted that PMPML employees have demanded salaries according to the seventh pay panel since 2017, but the final decision will be made by the deputy Chief Minister considering the transport utility’s ₹560 crore loss.
To enhance commuting options for metro stations, 300 minibuses will be purchased, along with the procurement of 300 buses from the central government. All the newly purchased buses will be electric buses, while 300 old buses will be scrapped. The increase in the number of electric buses will require the availability of charging stations, reducing the reliance on natural gas. Patil emphasized the need to reduce expenditure on natural gas and unnecessary expenses. Officials and staff were urged to focus on increasing PMPML’s income and reducing expenses.
Patil also stated his intention to request the central government to reconsider the decision to close the Pune Center of Akashvani, a public broadcaster, stressing the importance of involving everyone in the decision-making process.