Kochi: After Kochi, private bus owners in Palakkad and Malappuram have started buying fuel in bulk under a single umbrella to enjoy a cost benefit of Rs 1.15 per litre of diesel.
“We signed a pact with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) to join their ‘Smart Fleet’ programme. The buses will now buy fuel through our association to enjoy the benefits of bulk purchase,” said T. Gopinath, general secretary of All Kerala Bus Operators Association.
As many as 400 buses have registered under the co-operative society ‘Kerala Bus Operators Association’ in Malappuram while 230 buses came under one umbrella in Palakkad.
“The benefits are doled out based on various cost slabs of purchasing diesel. For instance, a discount of Rs 6 lakh is given a month everytime the registered society buys diesel worth Rs 4 crore. This roughly translates to Rs 1.15 per litre of diesel for a society having a minimum 100 buses,” said a senior BPCL official.
Besides the ‘All Kerala Bus Operators Association’, another association joined the programme in Palakkad while in Malappuram the Manjeri Bus Owners Association too is reaping the benefits.
“We’ll be implementing it in Kottayam and Thrissur next. The operational expense too will come down as discounts can be availed for bulk purchase of spare parts, tyres and insurance,” Mr Gopinath said.
Earlier, 900 buses in the Kochi and Greater Kochi area joined hands to operate under seven companies — My Metro Bus Services, Kochi Metro Transport
Co-operative Society, Kochi Wheels United, Pratheeksha, Perfect, Greater Cochin Bus Transport and Muz-hiris.
“Over the last year, we’re purchasing bulk fuel and the BPCL provided us a royalty of Rs 28 lakh. The same is calculated based on points awarded during the bulk purchase,” said Nissar Karukapadath of the ‘My Metro Bus Services’....