ANANTAPUR: Several petrol bunks in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka ran out of business as people from Andhra Pradesh have been fuelling their vehicles on the other side of the border as there is Rs 12 difference on a litre of petrol and Rs 10 on a litre of diesel.
In D Heerehal mandal in Ananatapur district, seven out of 14 petrol bunks went out of business. Fuel station owners say they used to sell 1,000 liters of fuel per day on an average and today, they could hardly sell 400 liters.
While the taxes on fuel were decreased in the neighbouring States, the same is not the case in Andhra Pradesh, resulting in a wide gap in the prices of fuel in Andhra Pradesh and other states. In Anantapur border mandals, petrol is being sold for Rs 111 and the same is being sold for Rs 100 or less in the village a few kilometers away, on the other side of the border. Same is the case with diesel. So, most of the truckers are preferring to tank up in Karnataka villages.
“Fuel costs less there and what is the need for spending more here? By filling up the fuel tank of a truck, which has a capacity of 360 to 450 liters, we can save Rs 1,500,” Md Rafi, a trucker and member of Anantapur Lorry Owners Association, said.
He said that even if the vehicles are short of fuel when they are in the district, the truckers are only filling the required fuel to reach the fuel station on the other side of the border. Fuel station owners rued they were making heavy losses and could not sustain much longer.
“Fuel sales have come down drastically. Around 40 per cent of the business is gone. Fuel stations in the district along the border are slowly becoming no-man’s lands with no business,” Rajesh, owner of BPL fuel station in Anantapur, said.
Ramanjaneyulu, a owner of a fuel station in Kodikonda checkpost of Chilamathur mandal, said he was closing down his fuel station as there was no business. “Bagepalle in Karnataka is three km away from here. Today, several fuel stations have come up there and fuel is cheaper there. So how can I have any business?” he asked.
Since running a fuel station involves lakhs of rupees, owners are unwilling to bear the losses and it is not limited to one or two mandals, but majority of mandals in the district which share border with Karnataka.