Revised petrol price as of today stands at Rs 68.58 in Delhi, Rs 76.10 in Calcutta, Rs 76.90 in Bombay, and Rs 71.71 in Chennai. Diesel price hike will be announced shortly. At the end of June having endured 3 petrol price hikes, the previous lowering of fuel price in 2013 does appear to be an eyewash. A sentiment of inflation lifts its face at a time when the Indian rupee shows no sign of recovery, and has shocked many by touching the Rs 60 mark in exchange for $1. The need for overall price increase will see the country bear costs, and pump in money to the economy, a much needed factor at the moment.
Eventually the little vines of inflation are supposed to establish an inflationary trend. The cyclic pattern isn’t one that’s immediate, and while India will stabilise, it won’t be rightaway. Until then, the common man has to shell out more, and that’s that. There’s no dearth of new cars, and model year vehicles but choices will continue to be calculated in an already slow auto industry. Is it worth buying a car ( diesel or petrol) and does buying price justify the expense, keeping in mind running cost.
When it comes to alternate options, the country doesn’t offer many. A cycle has almost become only a poor man’s wheels, and no one really uses a cycle to get to work. Not every city has cycle paths to guarantee safe passage to cycles. Of course, there is a healthy number of children who get to school on a cycle, but those numbers don’t surpass the number of kids whose parents would rather drop them to school. In a city like Pune that has designated cycle paths, all is not well, with rain water clogging, and most having been captured by street hawkers. And then again, how many cyclists are there.
A two wheeler works fine and most families will have at least 1 bike around to run errands. In busy traffic in any city you can think of, a bike is always quicker to get around, and offers greater mileage than cars. You may want to take a bus, but that again is a nightmare because there aren’t enough buses. BRTS(bus rapid transit system) seems to be working fine in Ahmedabad, and Pune is giving it another try. Of course as of now, construction has only added to traffic woes.
Auto Rickshaw drivers do have a mind of their own, and not every trip goes by the meter. More often than not, you have to haggle for a reasonable premium price, and get on with your commute. Shortage of public transport has seen even limited city taxi services run out of vehicles on an increasing number of occasions. You can try to make your own arrangements, but nothing seems enough anymore. For those buying cars, this could just be that time when you ask yourself, should the switch to CNG be made now. However watching those endless serpentine lines at the CNG stations is a put off, and who has that much time and energy after a long day at work.