The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is giving a final shape to the modalities to get high speed diesel (HSD) for 6,129 buses in its fleet from the retail outlets of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum (HP).
The IOC and HP have begun billing the KSRTC Rs.71.25 a litre of HSD from Tuesday night. Also, the move to lease out the corporation’s 67 fuel pumps to the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) to get subsidised fuel is time consuming. Hence, .the State transport utility has decided to depend on retail outlets to purchase diesel at Rs.54.91 a litre.
Official sources told The Hindu that efforts were on to shift to the retail pumps at the earliest so as to get subsidised diesel at the rates sold to private stage carriers.
Efforts have been taken to ensure that the selection process is transparent, without giving room for complaints from dealers.
The KSRTC will post the requisite personnel at the retail outlets to maintain logs and other accounting procedures. Since the corporation will not be able to withdraw cash from the collection that reaches the 90 depots, the cost of HSD will be transferred to the bank account of the retail outlets.
The corporation is also considering the possibility of filling fuel during the course of the schedule of the buses.
An alternative plan to fill it at night after winding up the schedules will entail additional expenditure. An additional 500 drivers and 200 supervisors will be needed for the purpose. Besides, 24-hour retail outlets are few..
The corporation is expected to finalise the modalities by Tuesday.
The KSRTC needs 4.2 lakh litres of diesel a day. The IOC and HP have given credit of Rs.11 crore to the KSRTC.
Despite the crisis, the KSRTC operated 5,069 buses on Saturday.
The average daily collection during the last eight days was Rs. 4.85 crore, with the highest of Rs.5.51 crore on September 14 and the lowest Rs.3.34 crore on September 16.