They say one man’s misery is another man’s gain and the adage holds true for petrol pump owners across the city, as sales of fuel increased substantially on Wednesday night, hours before the fuel hike came into effect. On Wednesday afternoon, the prices of petrol increased to Rs 78.16, a phenomenal Rs 7.50 increase that irked the common man.
Minutes after the hike was announced, serpentine queues were formed at various bunks in the city, as people scrambled to gas up before the hike came into effect. However, amid the chaos and madness, petrol pump owners raked in the moolah, as sales skyrocketed on Wednesday.
Govt mulls a rollback
Following the protests and country-wide outrage against the steep price hike in petrol prices, the Congress has been mulling a Rs 2.50 rollback in the increase, sources said. However, the Indian Oil Corp said it would not roll back the hike and may cut prices only if global crude prices come down. IOC Chairman RS Butola said the company was not under any pressure from the government and that it could review petrol prices in early June. He admitted that the price hike is a huge burden for the consumers. “But if international prices come down, we would pass on the benefit to consumers,” he added. And while the UPA was trying to control the situation, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) called for a nation-wide bandh on May 31. In other parts of the country, other opposition members and protesters burned effigies of PM Manmohan Singh and called the price hike a ‘savage attack’ on the people.
We, as Indians, are extremely money conscious and in that bid to save every penny, scores of people collected, helping us to make phenomenal sales. On Wednesday, I sold around 10,000 litres of petrol and by 11 pm, I had to shut down after we ran out of fuel. Our sales doubled in a small time gap of just five to six hours yesterday.
— Anil Bhasin, owner of a Bharat Petroleum bunk, Chembur
The price hike was a sudden event and was a big shock to us. We usually sell around 500-700 litres of petrol in a day but on Wednesday, we had sold around 3,500 litres. This is around six times our daily sales.
— Rafiq Kadania, Owner, BP Petrol Pump, Byculla
The sudden hike in petrol prices led to a sudden surge of vehicles at our bunk on Wednesday. We usually sell approximately 4,000 litres of petrol but owing to the customers’ high demand, our sales soared to 15,000 litres. However, yesterday we suffered great losses as sales dipped over 40 per cent.
— Rajesh Chheda, manager, Indian Oil pump, Matunga
We had both two and four-wheelers line up in long queues on Wednesday evening. Owners of Mercedes and BMWs lined up in the queue to fill their tanks. We were open till midnight until all the motorists had got their vehicles fueled.
— Rajendra Vijan, owner, HP petrol pump, Parel