Nibbling away the buying capacity

Unaffordable fuel: The common man is clueless about how to cope with the rising price of petrol

Nibbling away the buying capacity

While some of them have started carpools with colleagues or fellow students, others are taking more and more to public transport in an attempt to cut down on their travelling costs.

Metrolife spoke to few people to find out how they are coping with the increase in petrol prices. Salaiha Taskeen, a final year student at Atria Institute of Technology, has had a tough time dealing with frequent increases in the price of petrol.

“It seems to be rising day by day. When I came to the City in 2009, it was around Rs 53 per litre. In two short years it has gone up by so much,” she complains. Like many others, Salaiha has tried to devise small ways in which she can save on her fuel expenses.

“I have started walking short distances every single day, rather than take my bike out for everything. My friends and I have also started to travel together, so that we can all chip in for the cost,” she says.

While Salaiha travels by bus wherever feasible, she says that this isn’t always easy. “If it’s a very long distance, or I’m not pressed for time I sometimes take a bus. I try to figure out which option is cheaper for me,” she explains.

However, it isn’t easy for many to come up with alternate travel options – especially for those whose jobs do not offer them a structured routine. Vivek Chitnis, an advocate, says that he is forced to simply bear with exorbitant petrol prices since carpooling and public transport are not options which are open to him.

“I live in Jayanagar, and have to commute between 25 and 30 kilometers every day. The problem is that my routine isn’t fixed – I sometimes have to travel to court, at
other times to a registrar office or somewhere else.

While carpools might be a good idea for a group of people who live in the same area and are employed in the same company, it is not an option for me as I can never be sure of where I’m going,” he explains.

He doesn’t believe public transport to be a viable alternative; he finds autorickshaws to be expensive, and he doesn’t have the time to wait for buses everyday.

“I have no option but to depend on my own car,” he concludes. Ashwin, a professional who works near M G Road, complains of the same problem, although his own work schedule isn’t as erratic.

His residence is in Koramangala, and he says that his petrol expenditure amounts to Rs 100 every two days just to get to work, which often doubles when he goes out with friends on weekends.

“I hardly take buses or carpool with my friends. Carpools only work for people in the IT industry, but at my workplace, hardly anyone even owns a car,” he says.  He adds that his personal belief is that many people have no choice but to adjust to this increase in fuel prices.

“As it is, people only bother about it for about two days or so. After that, everyone deals with it,” he says.

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