The delay on the part of the KSRTC in making payment to the Civil Supplies Department to procure diesel from its pumps has resulted in scarcity of diesel at the KSRTC Ernakulam depot. Owing to this, several Thirukochi services remain suspended for the past two days.
Sources said that the diesel tanks of KSRTC buses are likely to dry up by Friday, unless positive measures are taken.
The Civil Supplies Department has blocked the diesel supply to the KSRTC and has said that it won’t give permission to the Road Transport Corporation to procure diesel unless it pays up the due amount. The total amount to be paid to the Department comes to around `3-6 lakh.
“The payment should be sanctioned from Thiruvananthapuram office. However, there has been a delay in the transaction. If the money is not paid by Friday, we will be left in the lurch,” said sources at the depot.
At present, to compensate for the lack of diesel, the buses from the Ernakulam depot are filling diesel from private pumps at Aluva, Perumbavoor and Angamaly.
As per the KSRTC’s current agreement, the buses in Ernakulam depot can buy diesel only from the Civil Supplies pumps opposite Ernakulathappan ground and Pallimukku. They are not permitted to buy diesel from private pumps. However, in other depots, the KSRTC has given sanction to buy fuel from private pumps.
Similar incidents take place on a regular basis in Kottayam depot also. However, since the Kottayam depot has the option to buy fuel from private pumps, it does not affect the bus services there.
“Currently, Ernakulam is the only depot wherein all its buses fill diesel exclusively from the Civil Supplies pumps.
“As far as the Civil Supplies Department is concerned, it will not provide diesel if the payment is due. What we cannot make out is why the KSRTC is not willing to buy diesel from the private pumps when they are even ready to give fuel at 25 paise cheaper a litre. The efforts by the KSRTC to aid the Civil Supplies Department is not doing any good to both the departments,” an official source said.
The KSRTC had taken the decision to fill fuel from Supplyco pumps ever since the Central government removed subsidised fuel for bulk consumers.
New Indian Express