Petrol price hike fuels common man's ire

Get ready to loosen the purse strings a little further. In the steepest ever hike, petrol prices were increased to Rs 7.50 a litre with effect from Wednesday midnight. Mumbaikars will now have to spend Rs 78.16 for a litre of petrol against the old price of Rs 70.66 and this hike will surely unsettle their monthly budget.

Fuel duel: Motorists queue up at a petrol pump in Parel to tank up their vehicles, before the petrol fare hike came into effect.

The news made car and bike owners rush to petrol pumps to replenish their tanks before the new prices kick in. Meanwhile, an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) are to meet on Friday to discuss the pricing of diesel and LPG.

At other petrol pumps, cops made their presence felt in an attempt to prevent any fights or acts of violence. Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Satyajit Desai

The petrol prices saw a sudden spike owing to the rupee depreciation that led to a jump in oil import bill, said Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy, who added that it was imperative for prices to be increased. M Venkatrao, vice president from Mumbai Petrol Dealers Association said, “The government had no other choice than to increase the prices. However, I cannot comment on the quantum of amount that was increased.”

— Inputs from Naveen Nair, Anuradha Varanasi, Tejal Mistry

Though I am shocked at the sharp hike, I know that as the common man I have no say against this injustice.
— Nikhil Dedhia, businessman

As a student, this price hike
will have a major effect on my pocket money. This hike will force me to reduce most of my personal expenses starting today.
— Aniket, student

Of course, it is a huge hit to the common man’s pocket. We are already bearing the brunt of the recent budget and now this hike.
— Vinayak Adsule, businessman

I am a student pursuing MBA and travelling to college and back home involves regular use of my motorbike. I have filled up my fuel tank to reduce as much impact of the petrol price hike as possible.
— Sahil Jain, student

Petrol price has been hiked by
Rs 7.50 per litre, which is way too high. People should really go on a strike against this price hike because cooperating with the government just won’t do. Everyone is upset about this price hike.
— Mohit Mehta, student

There is a sudden hike in the price and it has come as a shock to us. We usually sell around 500 – 700 litres of petrol in a day but today I am sure that by midnight we will be out of stock. But we will continue to provide fuel to the motorists until we run out of fuel.
— Rafiq Kadania, petrol pump owner 

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