BENGALURU: To tackle the soaring fuel prices, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is set to fuel 220 buses either partially or fully on biodiesel. Its 8,750-strong fleet of buses presently consume an average of six to seven lakh litres of high speed diesel (HSD) daily.
KSRTC Managing Director S R Umashankar told Express that just in the last fortnight three companies conveyed their interest in supplying biodiesel to the corporation. “We are seriously processing their submissions. If they can provide high quality HSD on a continuous basis at a reasonable rate, we can go ahead with the move at the earliest,” he said. The concerns are based in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru and they import the biofuel from elsewhere, the MD added.
KSRTC has 220 buses fitted with kits that can store biodiesel. “A total of 20 buses can run on biodiesel while 200 can be partially fuelled by biodiesel,” he said.It will help KSRTC offset the soaring price of diesel hovering at `69.40 per litre today while a litre of biodiesel will cost less than `60, a senior official said.
“KSRTC is the only state-run transport corporation in the country which is a profit making one and we need to take some quick measures to maintain that position,” he said. The state corporation had made a similar attempt three years ago but their stocks ran out and they were forced to stop the supply, the MD added.
During the last one year, KSRTC floated three tenders in this connection but they received poor response. “Since the concerns have come forward now, we will shortly float another tender. This will attract more firms,” a senior official said.
Managing Director of BMTC V Ponnuraj hinted at city bus corporation emulating it. “If someone can provide biodiesel at a competitive price and ensure continuous supply, it will be good for road transport corporations as well as for the city. All the four corporations in the state will go for it together if it happens,”.