Motorists Call for Tariff Revisions to Beat Fuel Prices
Rickshaw and taxi drivers across town have spoken out against rising fuel prices amid the second wave of COVID-19. The price of gasoline remained at Rs 99.80 per liter on Wednesday while the price of diesel touched Rs 93.72 per liter. Before last year’s lockdown, the price of gasoline was Rs 72.28 per liter and the cost of diesel was Rs 65.71 per liter.
“Prices are increasing every day. It burns a hole in the pocket of the common man. Those who have to pay for fuel on a daily basis are particularly affected, ”said Kumaresan, rickshaw driver in Perambur. He said rising fuel prices were eating away at the incomes of people who make a living transporting people or goods, and that too creates the backdrop for the COVID crisis when incomes are already low.
All transport vehicle owners suffered during the lockdown as the government banned the circulation of public transport vehicles to reduce the flow of people. “The rickshaw and taxi drivers encountered a lot of problems during this time. They struggled to earn money to feed their families and pay for school fees online, ”said S Ravi, a taxi driver. Tamil Nadu Auto Thozhilalar Sammelanam President Balasubramanian said the state government should revise rickshaw prices set in 2013 when a liter of gasoline was sold at Rs 82.95.
“The Madras High Court has ordered the government to periodically review tariffs when gasoline prices rise or fall. But the government had only revised tariffs five times in the past 41 years. Currently, the minimum fare is Rs 25 for the first 1.8 km and Rs 12 per km thereafter. We ask for Rs 40 for the first 1.5 km and Rs 20 per km thereafter, ”he said.