The already burdened ‘aam aadmi’ would have to shell out more for day-to-day survival from Friday after the Centre hiked diesel prices. The sharp revision has shocked the general public at large, as the prices of all commodities from food to travel will now go north.
Passengers commuting by auto rickshaws and share autos may experience unprecedented fleecing from Friday. Diesel price in Chennai would be Rs 48.91 per litre, while the previous price was around Rs 43.91.
Cashing in on the diesel price revision, auto rickshaw drivers who use LPG and petrol are also expected to jack up charges, even though the Government has not touched the LPG and petrol rates. “The immediate impact would be on the diesel auto rickshaws that are plying the city on share auto basis,” claimed Seshasayanam, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Auto Rickshaw Workers Federation, affiliated with the AITUC said.
“Of the 66,000 auto rickshaws running in Chennai, about 10,000 are operated using diesel. For instance, these vehicles charge Rs 20 to travel between Vysarpadi and Parrys on share basis. Now, the tariff would go up by Rs 5,” he added. “The Government should take initiatives to fix the basic fares of auto rickshaws at Rs 40,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the truckers association has demanded that the Centre roll back. “The extraordinary hike has incurred losses of 10 per cent for lorry operators,” Confederation of Surface Transport Tamil Nadu president Sugumaran said.