On an incessant ascent for weeks, fuel prices have hit record highs over the last few days. In Delhi, petrol and diesel are priced at Rs 80.50 and Rs 72.61 respectively while in Kolkata, the prices are even higher at Rs 83.39 and Rs 75.46. The rising prices have had a huge impact on the daily lives of most people, and sparked opposition protests.
Suraj Chokhani, a Kolkata businessman, says he has to let his driver, Shambhu Singh, go due to the price hike. “A full tank used to cost around Rs 2,200 when I bought this car a year and a half ago, but now it costs almost Rs 2,900,” he told NDTV adding that it was exceeding his monthly budget by six to seven thousand rupees.
Shambhu Singh, who is having to bear the brunt of the rising prices in this case, says that he will have to return to Bihar if he loses his job as jobs are hard to come by. “You don’t get jobs. Prices are so high of petrol and diesel. It is beyond control,” he says.
Shambhavi Madan, who is studying sociology at the Ambedkal University in Delhi, has been forced to leave her car in the garage and use the metro for her daily commute. Her single mother had gifted her the car so that she could travel to college, but she says she no longer feels it is economically feasible to use her own car, despite a hike in metro prices as well.
Suprovo Tagore, a newly-wed musician who runs a theatre company with his wife in Kolkata is also feeling the effects of the price hike. The spiraling cost of fuel has made transporting props and people much more expensive, which has hurt Mr Tagore’s business. “Everything has gone up. Directly it has impacted transport and indirectly it has affected infrastructure, office cost, even simple groceries,” he says. His wife also agrees, saying that most of the money they make for their survival goes into refueling their car.