Why only Petrol, Diesel and Dollar? Why not kerosene, gas and Euro? Because kerosene is now outmoded, replaced by gas and the segment that used kerosene earlier and now gas is mostly subsidised segment in whose accounts Government deposits cash subsidy and so this segment is relatively less impacted. And Euro? Who knows Euro? Everyone loves Greenback only!
Rise in the price of petrol and diesel has the incremental effect as these are fuels and rise in fuels prices fuels price rise across the board – our vegetables, fruits, daily ration, conveyance- everything becomes more expensive. And dollar? Not quite the reason mentioned above i.e. not that we love it, but because we pay for everything that we import, including petrol and diesel using it! Due to US embargo on one of the major oil sellers, Iran, and the decision of other OPEC nations to restrict supplies the price of oil has increased to $ 80 a barrel and due to worldwide strengthening of greenback, we are now paying 73 Rupees for a dollar, oil has become very expensive and the nation is left with no option but to silently bear the brunt!
What can we do? Ideally speaking, we can conserve petrol and diesel by using public transport system or sharing/pooling conveyance. But in Mumbai , boarding local trains in the peak morning hours is no mean task and BEST buses are no longer the best in the country. There are fewer BEST buses on the roads, fleet is not best maintained and road travel in Mumbai for longer distances is simply not viable! Pooling or sharing requires lots of prerequisites, sacrifices and adjustments and is rarely feasible. Work from home is another option, but we are still long way off from that.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t do a thing other than being mute witnesses and silent sufferers! We can definitely help the country in lowering the fuel bill by :
(1) Driving more sensibly on the roads and by not contributing to traffic jams by indulging in reckless practices;
(2) Adopting better traffic management practices so that jams are avoided on crossings, which burn huge quantities of oil in a wasteful manner
(3) Conserving electricity and gas at home as the larger ramifications of all this are exhaustion of natural resources and their ever increasing demand!
(4) Driving more fuel efficient vehicles, switching off ignition at traffic signals, switching off AC when not required and avoiding peak hours.
(5) Keeping our vehicles in top shape, tyre pressures at the recommended levels and regularly taking our vehicles for servicing and check ups.
When the phenomenon is world wide and control on the situation minimalist, populist measures like bandhs and dharnas are not the panacea. Let’s hope for resolution of Iran imbroglio, strengthening of our humble Rupee and more disciplined road habits leading to lower imports of oil, which can moderate the demand and hence the price. Let’s simultaneously hope that Government holds hand by making some sacrifice at least so that common people survive this difficult phase and not resort to what draught / flood affected farmers of this country have been doing in the recent past – commit suicide!!!!!