Auto drivers wary of seeking a fare hike

They say the last increase was too recent and they have to grin and bear fuel price revision

The rates of Auto Liquified Petroleum Gas (Auto LPG) in the City has been hiked from Rs 40.36 to Rs 42.66 a litre, an increase of Rs 2.30. This was announced along with the average State-wide hike of Rs 5.47 for a litre of petrol.

Auto drivers in the City seem to have come to terms with the increase in the fuel price and appear to have decided not to go on strikes or seek a hike in the minimum fare.

Against hike

Javed, an auto driver, said: “We know that prices of essential commodities have gone up and people are already bearing the brunt. Given that it is a hike of just Rs 2.30, there should not be much of a problem.”

Srinivas Murthy, Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union Working President, told Deccan Herald: “The hike in the minimum fare is too recent for us to demand more again, although we will be affected by the increase in LPG prices.”

Shanmughan, another auto driver, said: “Everyday there are customers who understand our problems and pay a little more than the fare while most don’t. We just hope there are more of the generous ones.”

Most Bangaloreans have, however, not taken the petrol price hike in their stride, although they almost have no alternative. The petrol price, which went up by Rs 5.47 per litre, will certainly throw the people’s budget into a disarray.

Naveen, a software engineer, said: “Why did the government have to wait for the election results to come out. They could have hiked the price before the results. Do they take us all to be fools? I think I have to cut down my leisure travelling.”

Endorsing the fact that the petrol prices have greatly hit the middle class, Dileep Kumar said: “I haven’t seen the government take any initiative on ways to conserve fuel. It’s high time the government initiates measures to create awareness about conserving fuel, starting at the school level.”

Students object

College-goers Saket Gogia and Kushal Bhandari criticised the hike in petrol prices, saying: “Instead of hiking the price of petrol, they can improve our public transport.”
Saket said: “I barely get a pocket money. Now, I have to spend whatever I have on petrol. It’s crazy.”

Kavita, who works with HCL, says it would have made more sense to increase the petrol price when the Metro is on track. “With absolutely no alternative, this is pointless.”

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