On Saturday, State-run oil marketing companies increased fuel price for the fourth time, which left Chennai people shelling out Rs100.14 for a litre of diesel.
Petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre, pushing the total increase in rates on petrol to Rs 36 per litre and on diesel to Rs 26.58 since early May 2020.
A Soundararajan, former CPM MLA and general secretary, CITU, Tamil Nadu unit, said, “The diesel prices crossing the Rs 100 has shocked the Chennai people.
While the transport industry was heavily hit by the pandemic-fuelled lockdowns, the increasing fuel price is a devastation to the industry,’ the former legislator told DT Next.
S Muthukumar, president, Koyambedu Semi-Wholesalers Welfare Association said that as a cascading effect, vegetable prices have shot up too. ‘One of the reasons for the high vegetable prices is the diesel rate. In normal times, vegetables would be sold for Rs 10-20 per kg, but after the diesel price hike the average price of vegetable is Rs 30 per kg,” he said.
Farmers and fishermen too are apprehensive as the hike has hit their livelihood. Nanjil P Ravi, spokesperson, Akila Indhiya Meenavar Makkal Sangam, said, “Only 25% of fishermen are going for boating for the past six months as they haven’t been able to manage their finances on maintenance and fuel.” Cauvery S Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Protection Association, said that the hike has forced them to spend Rs 2,500 per acre extra.
“We require 36 litres of diesel for ploughing and harvesting purposes in an acre of agriculture land. Though the government is providing incentives to us, farmers are not being benefited as diesel price is being hiked multiple times a month,” he said.
Parties and trade unions from TN also appealed to the Centre to reduce excise duty on fuel. Diesel prices have crossed the Rs 100 mark in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and other cities as well.