Siliguri, June 5: In north Bengal, people of Raiganj will be paying the most for petrol at Rs 53 a litre after the price hike, while diesel will be most expensive in Darjeeling at Rs 37.40 for each litre.
The lowest rates of petrol and diesel in the region are in Alipurduar (Rs 51.99) and Malda (Rs 35.69), respectively (see chart).
“Because of the difference in carrying costs, there are marginal variation in petrol and diesel prices across north Bengal,” Ananda More, the president of the North Bengal Petrol Dealers’ Association, said today. “The prices came into effect from Wednesday midnight in the 250-odd petrol pumps of the region.”
More added there were Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depots in New Jalpaiguri, Malda and Hasimara. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, too, has a depot in New Jalpaiguri, he said.
“Fuel is essentially supplied from these depots. It is the difference in distance between the towns and the depots that leads to variation in carrying costs,” said More.
After the petroleum ministry announced the decision to hike prices yesterday, officials of IOC, which is the state-level coordinator of oil companies, had to take into account the reduction in sales tax announced by Bengal finance minister Asim Dasgupta.
A senior IOC official said over the phone from Calcutta, “We had our prices ready by 7pm or so yesterday, with the prices going up by Rs 2.22 per litre for petrol and Rs 1.85 per litre for diesel. But we had to delay releasing the new prices since we had not yet received the circular from our head office.”