Petrol and diesel prices have not seen a day's decline since 15 August. Fuel prices in all the cities are at record rates. Petrol price per litre was increased to Rs 82.16 in New Delhi, Rs 89.54 in Mumbai, Rs 85.41 in Chennai and Rs 84.01 in Kolkata on Wednesday. Diesel price per litre was revised to Rs 73.87 in New Delhi, Rs 75.72 in Kolkata, Rs 78.42 in Mumbai and Rs 78.10 in Chennai.
As fuel prices continue skyrocketing to new all-time highs, petrol pump operators have a new concern. On 8 September, the price of a premium kind of petrol-Octane was hiked to Rs 100.33 per litre. This premium product is sold under the name of "Power 99" by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and costs close to Rs 20 per litre extra over regular petrol. It is a kind of high-performance fuel used in expensive cars to increase the longevity if the engine.
The problem faced by some of the petrol retail dealers (mostly in non-metro areas) is that their machines can only show the maximum value of Rs 99.99. The retailers have an automated system where in the central server updates the new prices across the fuels stations for various petroleum products. The petrol and diesel prices are revised every day at 6 am.
In metro cities, fuel stations have the latest machines that display up to 5 digits, whereas in areas with older versions of fuel dispenser machines, the display cannot handle a price beyond 99.99 per litre and the machine started to show a price of Rs 10.33/ litre for Octane. An India Times report said that following this, the petrol pump had to stop the services for premium petrol and had to call a special engineer to re-calibrate the machines.
This will be the new concern for the fuel retailers as it calls for an additional cost of updating their infrastructure with machines that can handle higher figures. It could lead to shutting down of services for a few days until the old machines are replaced.