GUWAHATI, May 15 – People from different strata of society have resented the recent hike in petrol prices and many are bracing themselves for another inflationary trend. People when contacted agreed that it was unexpected, and would affect them on several front and not just in transport.
Kanak Basumatary, a Central Government employee expressed his disgust at the five rupees price hike saying it would make a dent in his budget. A father of two children, he said that he would have to think hard before planning the next big trip in his car.
He was upset that sharp hikes in petrol prices do not evoke any protest from the public. “We have all become immune to inflation it seems, no one really seems to bother,” he remarked.
The pinch has been felt by those commuting by auto rickshaws in and around Guwahati. Hassled commuters have complained that auto drivers have already hiked fares. “Earlier it was around a hundred rupees from Chandmari to Bharalumukh, today I was charged twenty rupees more,” said Purnendu Das, a young professional. Auto drivers, when asked said that they are left with no other option.
Monoj K Nath, the owner of an auto rickshaw felt that confrontation between auto drivers and passengers may not be ruled out after the new hike.
Those most hurt would be young students who rely on bikes and scooters to commute between academic institutions and their homes. For these youths, the sudden and sharp hike is unacceptable.
A retired doctor, P Deka, believes that recurring hikes in petrol prices should open the eyes of the public to ideas like car pooling. People heading to same or nearby destinations should go for car pooling as it reduces transport costs, causes less pollution, and also creates a sense of camaraderie among the passengers.
Similar feelings are echoed by Asma Hussain, a school teacher, who supports car pooling. “It reduces the carbon foot print, and also reduces traffic woes,” she said, and added that the idea should be embraced by all conscientious citizens.