Ever since petroleum prices have been deregulated in the year 2010 petrol prices have been revised every fortnight. Thus you might be hearing the news that there has been a rise or fall in fuel price every two weeks. The decision to deregulate petrol prices was done to reduce the losses incurred by oil companies due to mounting oil subsidy. However, consumers had to bear the brunt of rising fuel prices. Since last three years petrol prices have risen by more than 25 rupees.
The rise in petroleum prices have severely impacted the transportation undertakings like BEST and state transport buses. As a result of this, fares of buses and autorickshaws have increased. Even diesel prices have been partially deregulated as its prices are rising by 50 paise every month until the losses incurred by state-owned oil firms are wiped out. Facing an additional burden of about Rs 1,200 crore due to the increased diesel and electricity cost, Railways had revised the passenger and freight tariff, linking it with fuel adjustment component (FAC). The cross-subsidy for passenger service is currently touching Rs 26,000 crore in a year. Rising number of cars too has resulted into the increase of fuel consumption.
Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily had commuted in the metro to work as part of his ministry’s drive to promote fuel conservation and reduce India’s massive oil import bill. All the officials from petroleum ministry and public sector units (PSUs) nationwide will travel by public transport every Wednesday.
Moily walked from his residence at Tughlaq Lane to the Race Course Metro Station, from where he took the train to Central Secretariat station, which exits almost at the doorsteps of the oil ministry housed in Shastri Bhawan.
Through this mega fuel conservation campaign the oil ministry aims to curtail the oil import bill by $5 billion. Other measures include staggered office timings for government employees and encouraging bicycle for short distance travel.
The oil ministry had taken this decision after the fuel import bill soared because of rising international crude oil rates and record depreciation in the value of rupee.
Citizens too can take some initiatives to reduce the consumption of fuel. They can opt for carpooling services where in three to four persons can share a cab for commuting to their work places. If more and more people start using carpooling programmes or organise carpools within their workplaces overall traffic congestion will decrease, which reduces fuel consumption, commute time, and the cost of road repairs. It will also reduce environmental pollution and carbon emission thereby improving air quality. Car pooling reduces commuting stress thereby allowing people to read, relax and converse. Commuters can opt for shared auto services which can reduce several vehicles off the city’s roads. Finally, commuters can opt for public transport like buses, local trains to save fuel.