BENGALURU: Don’t be shaken if a bulky BMTC the bus stops behind or beside your vehicle at a gas station. In future, BMTC buses will refuel diesel at private berths across the city to beat soaring fuel prices.
With the price of crude oil soaring due to changing global dynamics and the government failing to provide subsidies to wholesale buyers including state-owned transportation companies such as BMTC, the latter decided to source fuel from retailers. “It is much cheaper to fill up with diesel at a private berth than to get it from our own depots,” said a BMTC official, while admitting that the worsening diesel crisis has weighed on the company finances.
BMTC Managing Director G Sathyavathi told reporters: “At present there is a differential of Rs 30 per liter on diesel supplied to retail outlets and wholesale consumers. We have brought this matter to the attention of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Meanwhile, steps are being taken to ensure diesel refueling at the nearest available petrol bunkers without impeding traffic .
The bulk diesel price was Rs 120.26 per liter on Monday, while the retail price was Rs 87.87 per litre; the transport company must bear Rs 32.3 per liter of diesel consumed by its buses. According to sources from the transport department, following the increase in the price of crude oil in the international market, the oil companies have revised the price of fuel and also increased the price for heavy users. Retail prices have not been increased drastically as this would have an impact on the rate of inflation; this incentivizes bulk buyers to source diesel from them at cheaper rates.
BMTC, which has more than 6,000 buses in its fleet, buys 2.4 lakh liters of diesel per day to run its vehicles. In fact, BMTC authorities were, until recently, tied to private outlets that would supply diesel to the company’s depots. “But with oil marketing companies apparently objecting to this arrangement because it impacts their finances, retailers are hesitant to supply diesel to depots and instead insist that buses go to service stations,” said a source.
Sathyavathi continued, “But, from now on, for at least four days, we can run buses using our existing stocks. There has been no disruption of services so far and greater fluidity will be ensured.”
Regarding concerns that buses at gas stations could cause traffic rumbles, officials said traffic police had been alerted and action would be taken.