Be warned. The next time you drive into a petrol pump to refuel your car don’t be surprised if you find several BEST buses blocking your way. Upset at the government decision to hike diesel rates by Rs 12 per litre for all bulk buyers, the BEST management has suggested that all BEST buses be told to refuel at the nearest petrol pump where diesel is cheaper by around Rs 10 per litre compared to the new bulk rates.
BEST Committee members have suggested that a trial run in this regard can be carried out on buses running between the Colaba terminus and the Anik bus depot from next week.
BEST boasts of a 4700-strong fleet of which around 1800 run on diesel. The rest run on CNG. “We are identifying big fuel stations where our buses can queue up to refuel. We intend to start it from the coming week,” said OP Gupta, General Manager, BEST. Gupta said he has already asked his team to identify areas and fuel stations in the city and suburbs where BEST buses could refill diesel especially at night.
Recently diesel prices skyrocketed after the Centre partially deregulated diesel, affecting all bulk buyers. The decision came on the back of a long-standing demand from oil companies to reduce the subsidy on diesel. BEST is expected to suffer losses of around Rs 42 crore per annum due to the price hike. A committee member told Sunday MiD DAY that the chances of a further hike in bus fares from April 1 could not be ruled out.