NAVI MUMBAI: Auto drivers in Panvel seem to be unhappy that the recently-introduced NMMT bus service in Panvel has been well received by the commuters. They protested that the service adversely affected their earnings. Some of them allegedly threatened NMMT staff on the first day. Most buses are still running under police escort. Arun Bhise, Citizen Unity Forum activist, said that commuters have welcomed the bus service. âIn a meeting held on Thursday, the drivers demanded that the bus service be stopped but the traffic DCP declined to do so. We have asked NMMT to bring down the interval to 10 minutes.â He added that some politicians, including an elected representative, asked NMMT to operate the buses on an hourly basis. NMMT chairman Sabu Daniel said, âThe service is between 7am and 10pm, with a frequency of 20 minutes, NMMT charges between Rs 5-9 for tickets while auto drivers charge Rs60-80 rupees to cover the 6.5-km stretch.â He added that, considering the overwhelming public response, they are now planning more buses and will not bow before the auto drivers. NMMT had started their service in Panvel by introducing bus No 75 between Panvel station and Sai Nagar. They introduced Bus No.76 between Panvel railway station and Karanjade residential colony on April 15.
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