Adding Fuel to Fire?
As the country struggles to get out of the economic crisis, the government keeps increasing the cost of fuel. Where most countries in the world have a bailout packages to help the citizens, in India it is the opposite: the citizens are paying a fortune for petrol and diesel.
When the crude oil prices were at an all-time high of US $120 a barrel, we were paying less for petrol and diesel. As compared to that, the price of crude now is US $57 per barrel and we are paying in excess of Rs 91 per litre of petrol and Rs 80-plus per litre of diesel. Needless to say, this is having a massive impact on the citizenry when people are reluctant to use public transport. In many cases, public transport is not yet at its most effective owing to the pandemic restrictions.
The cost of diesel also has an impact on the ordinary citizen. All public transport vehicles use diesel which, in turn, increases the cost of transport which, in turn, increases the cost of the essential commodities.
One of the biggest challenges the country is facing is complete lack of discipline. Nobody cares about other people and this shows in the way we behave on the road: total disrespect for other road-users so long as it suits our convenience; even if it means riding those extra 50 metres to make a U-turn to avoid going down the wrong way. In Pune, on my daily riding route to work and back, I see the police apprehend people and fine them for breaking the traffic signals, but, at the same time, they turn a blind eye to people riding down the wrong way. In my view, riding or driving down the wrong way is a worse offence than running a traffic light.