The hike in the prices of petrol announced on Thursday may force Hrishabh, an undergraduate to bike a bicycle and ride to his college, as 'maintaining a motor-cycle is fast becoming an expensive affair'. His father Akhilesh Mishra agreed with him. "What else can a salaried class family think, but to cut down their own expenses to meet the ends," he said.
Like the father-son duo, many Lucknowites gave a thumb down to the petrol hike that would come into effect on Friday. Contractor, Santosh Kumar Singh said that the increase will have a cumulative impact accumulate. "This will adversely affect the business of many. I am in construction business, which involves visiting the sites on a regular basis. The daily petrol expenses would go up by at least 30%. Projects sanctioned do not increase the cost considering such hikes, so input cost would go up and profit margins trim," he said.
Retired army officer Colonel AK Saxena said that the government has made a fool out of the common man. "After the last hike, the ministers had said that they would consider slashing the price of petrol, as the subsequent rates in international market had gone down. The hike is contradictory," he said.
Office goers too were equally upset. "There's a yawning gap between fuel costs, corporate HR policies. Conveyance allowance doesn't grow at this rate," said Shailendra Kumar Singh, manager with a telecom operator.Political parties also condemned the Centre for the hike. State general secretary of Rashtriya Lok Dal Anil Dubey said that UPA government had no considerations for the common man. tnn
"They need to change places with a middle class man to understand his plight. I am shocked to know that spending nights in the village has not given them any insight," Dubey said. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalraj Mishra stated that the hike would make life difficult for all sections of the society.
Meanwhile, petrol pump owners found the occasion a chance to hoard as the proposed hike was expected to get effective from midnight. Though people made beelines outside filling stations, owners either claimed that they had no stock or that there was some problem in system. "I thought of getting the tank of my car full in a bid to save some money, but the owners denied us petrol. When we asked for a reason, the manager said that there was no stock left because of panic buying," said Amit Sharma, an accountant with a private firm.