Bengaluru

Diesel at ₹88 per litre for you, but ₹119 per litre for BMTC

A file photo of BMTC buses parked at the Yeshwanthpur depot in Bengaluru.

A file photo of BMTC buses parked at the Yeshwanthpur depot in Bengaluru.

The existing stock of diesel at Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus depots will only last for another five or six days, after which, if the impasse over buying diesel in retail outlets is not resolved, buses will invariably queue up at petrol bunks in the city, said G. Satyavathi, MD, BMTC.

Oil marketing companies have warned of initiating action against the fuel station owners if they supply fuel directly to the depots. Out of fear of losing licences, outlet owners have stopped the supply to depots and instead have asked BMTC to send their buses to the bunks. Some of the depots in the city have already sent buses to bunks for refilling. 

The corporation has written to the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, seeking an immediate intervention to resolve the impasse. Meanwhile, the corporation has also written to the Bengaluru City Police Commissioner warning of traffic snarls that might be caused by buses queuing up at petrol bunks.

To cut down on operational costs, the corporation has been purchasing fuel from retail outlets instead of bulk purchase from March 29.

Retailers were supplying fuel through tankers to depots in the city. The bulk purchase rate for diesel stands at ₹119 per litre, whereas from the retail outlets it is available for ₹88.

The decision of the corporation has helped it to save close to ₹75 lakh per day. The corporation requires 2.4 lakh litres of fuel every day. The BMTC has a fleet size of 6,803 buses and operating schedule of 5,663 buses.

“In the interest of the corporation and that of the public, we had started purchasing fuel from retailers. This has helped to save ₹75 lakh per day. After the oil companies warned of taking action, retailers stopped supplying directly to the depots. Once our stocks are over, vehicles will be sent to the fuel stations. We have already written to the city police commissioner seeking their cooperation to minimize the inconvenience to the public,” Ms. Satyavathi said.

“We have appraised the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, about how the steep hike in bulk purchase of diesel is impacting the finances of the corporation which is in a bad shape and why it has opted to purchase fuel from retailers.. We have sought their intervention to direct oil marketing companies to not take action against retailers,” she said.

Earnings made through fare box revenue goes for fuel, salary, and other maintenance expenses. Every day the corporation is facing a deficit of ₹1 crore.

The corporation is reeling under financial distress after the outbreak of pandemic and has ₹746 crore loan to repay, she explained.

The BMTC has requested the State government provide the financial aid to meet the expenses. “The Tamil Nadu government reimburses expenses incurred by the road transport corporation after the fuel prices crosses a cap. We too have requested the State government to provide assistance on similar lines,” the MD said.


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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 11:33:52 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/diesel-stock-at-bmtc-depots-to-last-only-for-five-to-six-days/article65570358.ece