Ever since the oil companies increased the price of diesel by Rs.12 a litre for bulk purchasers, APSRTC buses are making a beeline to fuel outlets across the State to purchase diesel at retail prices and reduce the fuel expenditure.

Earlier, RTC authorities used to purchase diesel at Rs. 51 per litre, but since January 17, oil companies increased the diesel price to nearly Rs.62 per litre for bulk purchasers. Diesel is now being offered at retail price of Rs. 51.91 per litre in the city. There are 3,500-odd city buses in RTC Greater Hyderabad zone and everyday two lakh litres of diesel is required to operate these buses. Given the hike in diesel price under the bulk purchaser category, the zone now has to bear an additional burden of about Rs. 75 crore per month, says a senior official.

Likewise, there are 470 buses in Ranga Reddy region and about 38,000 litres of diesel is required everyday to run these buses. The region needs to meet additional fuel expenditure of about Rs. 4.67 crore a month. On the entire APSRTC scenario, the diesel price will increase the corporation’s fuel expenditure from Rs. 2,500 crore per annum to Rs. 3,250 crore.

To avoid this additional burden, authorities are now having RTC staff purchase diesel at retail price in fuel stations near the respective bus depots. Each depot authorities have identified four to five fuel stations to purchase diesel. Bus drivers, after completing the scheduled trips for the day, head directly to the nearest fuel station. As a result, RTC buses are making serpentine queues at fuel stations in all major areas like Kukatpally, Secunderabad, Falaknuma, Diluskhnagar etc.

On the possibilities of cheating or deceiving by staff by producing fake fuel bills despite purchasing less quantity of fuel, authorities claimed supervisors from each depot were deployed at the fuel stations to check the fuel quantity purchased and bill issued. In fact, the bill amount would be paid online to the respective fuel station owners the next day, an official explained.

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