Vizag embarks on fuel price test

Consumers can check through SMS about the price of fuel and the rate at which the dealer should sell it to them.

Visakhapatnam: Like gold, consumers in Vizag will have to pay different prices every day for petrol and diesel from May 1. The prices will change on a daily basis in the city. This variation will be seen in four other cities in India. The price change, earlier, was taking place every fortnight.

The pilot project of revising fuel prices on a daily basis is being implemented in Visakhapatnam, Puducherry, Udaipur, Jamshedpur, and Chandigarh. Dealers in the city are, however, not happy with the decision and many are apparently not equipped technically to implement it.

There are about 45 fuel filling stations, most of them under the Visakhapatnam Revenue Urban Limits, with peripheral locations such as Sheela Nagar, NAD, Malkapuram. Some bunks, not in the urban limits, but close to it. have also been included to nullify price differences.

The fuel price will remain different at other stations located outside the urban limits. However, the price change will not considerably affect the business of these stations as heavy vehicles hardly fill fuel there.

According to oil market companies, the fuel dealers will get the price every day in the evening. The OMCs would also disseminate the daily prices through media. The price will not fluctuate drastically, but in paise only.

The fuel dealers used to place indents just a day or two before every fortnight, based on the fuel price. The depots were uncertain about the order they would receive. However, the functioning of the depots would go smoothly as the dealers would not find major changes in the price.

Fuel dealers say daily price change won’t benefit anyone.Vizag Petrol Dealers’ Association president T. Narayana Reddy said the decision would create confusion among dealers as well as consumers and benefit none.

“If an initiative is being taken to link the rates with the international market, then why is the price being kept high in India compared to other countries? So, the consumers are being misled under the guise of international market price. The dealers will find it tough to maintain their account details and do the calibration. The price variation in the city and its outskirts would also be a concern,” he added.

Distance between depots and fuel station will no longer affect fuel price.The price of fuel at the fuel stations used to differ, based on the distance between the depot and the fuel station.

Now the OMCs have decided to fix the transportation charge for all the concerned stations, irrespective of the distance, so that the fuel dealers would not have to change the daily price accordingly.

Public can check price via SMS.Consumers can check through SMS about the price of fuel and the rate at which the dealer should sell it to them. They can even complain to the OMCs if the dealers are charging more or less than the automated prices.

Those who want the information, can simply send an SMS as: (OMC name) price <Space>Dealer Code to the concerned phone number of the OMCs.

HPCL has effected the changes in the retail selling prices of petrol / diesel at its Retail Pump Outlets in the city from the midnight of April 30 as part of the daily price changing initiative taken up in the five cities in India.

The selling price of petrol revised to Rs 72.70/litre while diesel is Rs 62.83/litre. Customers may verify fuel prices by sending SMS: HPPRICE <SPACE> DEALER CODE to 92222 01122.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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