The Centre's decision to hike Rs10 per litre of diesel for bulk purchasers has put the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a fix over operation of its fleet of vehicles.
The decision has left the BMC, which requires 17,500 litres diesel on an average daily, look for alternatives to save tax payers' money. According to sources, the decision may affect civic services, but the civic body has assured that the situation is under control.
The sources said, until recently, BMC would buy diesel from public sector players and store it at three of its petrol pumps located in Worli, Santa Cruz and Ghatkopar. The BMC has now decided to stop purchasing fuel from these companies directly and look for retail sellers instead.
"The Centre's decision is very strange. It should have ensured that local governing agencies across the country, like the BMC, were excluded. Now, if BMC doesn't get eligible retail providers for the quantity it requires to run the fleet, then it will have to either buy fuel at higher rates splurging tax payers' money or hold back certain number of vehicles in garages affecting the services," a source said.
The source also pointed out that if a retail contractor fails to supply the adequate quantity, then it will affect movement of BMC's vehicles.
On asked, additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani confirmed that the BMC is looking for retail fuel providers. However, he added that the services are not affected. "In fact, we have already started purchasing fuel from the retail market. We are also not going to shut our petrol pumps," Adtani said.
BMC has a fleet of 1,140 vehicles, including 240 light motor vehicles. They are used by the solid waste management and health departments, the mayor, his deputy, chairpersons of various civic committees and senior officials
Its daily diesel requirement: 17,500 litres
On a daily average, 10 litres of diesel is consumed by each vehicle