MUMBAI: As petrol and diesel rates continued to soar on Monday after reaching a record high a day earlier, school bus operators indicated there could be a hike in bus fees from the second semester in October. The increase could be by around Rs 100 a month per student.
The price of petrol on Monday was Rs 86.56 per litre while diesel was Rs 75.54 per litre in Mumbai. Sources informed TOI that on Tuesday morning, the price of petrol will reach Rs 86.72 per litre and diesel Rs 75.74 per litre.
Anil Garg of the School Bus Owners‘ Association told TOI that in view of escalating fuel prices, the association will write to all schools on Tuesday, informing them about the need for hiking bus fees. “We are also facing a lot of problems plying buses on potholed roads in Mumbai. Due to this, there is fuel wastage. This adds to operational costs,” he said. There are 8,000 school buses that ply on diesel in the , which includes Greater Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Panvel and Vasai-Virar.
Rising fuel prices may also compel travel agents to increase rates by 10% for private cars/buses hired for picnics and weddings, sources said. As for private tourist buses operating on inter-city routes, there is already a government order restricting them to charge only up to 50% more than MSRTC fares. An official from MSRTC said on Monday that there were no immediate plans to hike state bus fares.
The price of petrol rose by 31 paise and diesel by 42 paise on Monday. Oil company officials said price rise over two weeks has been mainly due to fluctuations in the rates of international crude and a further weakening of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar.
In Maharashtra, the price of petrol was highest in Nanded (Rs 88.05 per litre on Monday) and this was due to tax, mainly VAT, components, which are higher there. Mumbai continues to have the highest rate for petrol among all metro cities, sources in the oil industry said.
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