EDITORIAL | Petrol price hike & public transport in Meghalaya



The rise in the prices of petrol and diesel in the country has raised the angst level amongst drivers and passengers alike to a different level with prices touching Rs 91 to Rs 93 per litres (Petrol).

Vehicle owners and drivers started feeling the pinch since November last year when petrol prices started shooting through the roof.

In Meghalaya, the disappointment over fuel hike vis-a-vis taxes levied on petrol and diesel was expressed in the form of an indefinite strike called by the Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles.

However, the State Commissioner of Taxes affirmed that there would be no reduction in the taxes on fuel as it depends on the other northeastern states.

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But what about public transport?

Though government buses and maxi cabs came to the rescue, some of these vehicles are currently in pitiful conditions.

It is sad to see that Mawblei junction has become a junkyard where these “red” buses can be seen in utter disrepair. Indeed, the vehicles had seen better days.

In times such as these, one cannot help but think that there has been a lack of far-sighted vision concerning public transport unlike other countries like Singapore that take pride in reducing carbon emissions and promoting public transport.

Even the meter system, like in the Metros, cannot be implemented in a state like ours whereby terrain and traffic can flare tempers.

Fuel prices in Shillong have not reduced since the start of the pandemic, and this has been a huge disadvantage, especially since transporting commodities has also taken a hit.

To bring down the price of commodities, the railway project could have saved our pockets from burning, but this too has been criticised because of the fear that railways would make way for illegal settlers who would turn the state into a “mini Bangladesh.”