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APSRTC experiments with 'Mentar' to save fuel

APSRTC experiments with
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The public carrier for AP and Telangana, APSRTC, is planning to save the cost of fuel in a novel way. The corporation has entered into a technology agreement with Hyderabad Batteries Ltd. (HBL) for the supply of Fuel Catalyst with the brand name \'Mentar\'. A unit of the fuel catalyst will cost Rs 1.6 lakh.

The public carrier for AP and Telangana, APSRTC, is planning to save the cost of fuel in a novel way. The corporation has entered into a technology agreement with Hyderabad Batteries Ltd. (HBL) for the supply of Fuel Catalyst with the brand name 'Mentar'. A unit of the fuel catalyst will cost Rs 1.6 lakh.

Speaking to media persons at the Bus Bhavan, APSRTC Managing Director J Purnachandra Rao said that the corporation had fitted Mentars to ten buses in Hyderabad and to ten buses in Visakhapatnam on an experimental basis. The MD added, “If those units pass the fuel efficiency test, the RTC is most likely to fix the fuel catalyst units to all the buses owned and operated by the RTC. If the fuel catalyst can increase the mileage of RTC buses from the current 5.20 kilometers per litre to at least 5.24 kmpl, purchase of the fuel catalysts will turn out to be a profitable proposition.

Mentars is currently being tested on ten buses in Hyderabad and ten buses in Visakhapatnam

"If the Mentar units meet this level of fuel savings, their unit cost of Rs. 1.6 lakh will be covered in one year. That means, the fuel saved from the second year onwards is tantamount to profits as a substantial amount of fuel will be saved," Purnachandra Rao said. AVR Murthy, vice-president (sales), HBL, said that each Mentar unit will serve for 15 years and the company is ready to sell the fuel catalyst units at a concessional rate to the RTC.

The MD explained that fuel cost was the major component of losses borne by RTC and mixing of 10 per cent bio-diesel was another effort to reduce fuel costs. He however said that the current downward trend in diesel prices has come as a big relief to RTC. “RTC is not hiking bus fares every time the diesel prices are increased,” the MD said. Speaking about bifurcation of the APSRTC, Purnachandra Rao said that the process was on and that it would take at least a month.

The MD disagreed with the view that RTC was acting like any other private player, when it came to special buses on festive seasons. The MD said that there would be no fare hike of regular buses even during festival season like Sankranti. “The RTC is charging one-and-half times the fare for special buses only as there would be no passengers on the return journey,” he said.

Only one out of the four routes covered by the newly introduced Volvo buses is running in profits. But the MD said that the services on the three loss-making routes will not be withdrawn. He said that those buses would get higher occupancy once summer season starts in March.

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