The transport department is planning to set up at least five petrol pumps and LPG refill stations across the city as part of a joint venture with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to mop up revenue.
It was decided at a meeting of the IOC top brass and transport minister Madan Mitra that a committee comprising representatives of the transport department and IOC would visit bus depots at Tollygunge, Kasba, Belghoria and Maniktala and other areas and draw up viability reports for all the locations within 10 days. The reports would take into account how many LPG autorickshaws ply in the area.
“The oil companies are not in a position to buy land and set up gas stations. The state will have to take a call on this,” said Indrajit Basu, the executive director of IOC.
There are around 40 LPG refill stations in the city at present and the demand is for 1,500-1,600 tonnes every month. “There are long queues at the LPG stations at Garia, Gariahat, Kasba, Prince Anwar Shah Road and Jadavpur at all times but stations in other parts of the city do not get enough customers,” Basu said.
The government would also work out details such as whether it would run the pumps independently or with the help of company officials and how much rent it would collect.
“A pump could fetch anything between Rs 30-40 lakh per month as rent and that’s quite an amount for us,” said a transport department official. “We could also deploy some of our excess staff from the transport corporations to work at these pumps.”