“I have taken a firm decision to purchase a bicycle.” This was among the many angry refrains heard around Mumbai to the government's decision to hike petrol prices by Rs 7.50 per litre.
The common man is upset about the steep price hike and thinking of shunning their vehicles in favour of public transport. They also believe that this hike will lead to the cost of other essentials rising as well.
Take for example, Vijay Bhimrao Malkar, an executive secretary, who while understanding the reasoning behind the move is still upset with the government for taking this decision. This resident of Mulund, a Mumbai suburb, said, “The government is really behaving very unfairly with the people. Crude oil price has been hiked so it’s but natural that petrol and fuel will go high. This will also increase cost of cooking gas. Actually they should try and control oil companies. This is really not acceptable they should at least think about common man as they are the ones who are going to suffer.”
Anjani Kumar Dadhich, a marketing executive, echoes the same sentiments. He said, “Petrol prices have been increased 6 times in the last one year. I understand that crude price is rising so it will affect petrol prices. But, this government should understand that it is difficult for the common man to shell out so much from their pocket.”
Renuka Mani is among those who thinks that this price hike will force people to give up travelling by their vehicles. Reacting to the news, this school teacher noted, “The government is increasing petrol price every three months. But have they taken any kind of initiative to find out the problem faced by the commoners by these hikes? It is really very difficult to live in a city like Mumbai and I am planning to stop using my car.”
But the hike will also affect public transport cost and lead to an increase in fares. Dadasaheb Shinde, a special executive officer in an MNC, oversees this and feels the government is trying the common man’s patience. “Now, bus and taxi fare will also increase and this in turn will come on us (common man).”
Businessman M Y Chorwadwala and Sakshi Singh Tolani have a solution for this problem. While Chorwadwala suggests people should start using ‘bullock carts’ -- the traditional mode of transport in rural areas, Ms Tolani believes a bicycle is the best option.
But among all these angry and fearful voices, there are a few who support the government’s decision, like restaurant owner Sangath Hegde.
City Current Price Revised Price Increase
Delhi 65.64 73.18 7.54
Kolkata 70.03 77.88 7.85
Mumbai 70.66 78.57 7.91
Chennai 69.55 77.53 7.98
(All rates in Rs/litre)