Mumbaikars migrate towards CNG cars and public transport due to petrol price hike

Friday 25 May 2012, 11:09 AM by

The huge hike in petrol prices has forced the residents of Mumbai to seek other modes of daily transport, such as CNG cars and public transportation. A professional who commutes to Navi Mumbai from eastern suburban areas of Mumbai everyday commented that going to office by car has burnt a hole in his pocket. And he is not alone, as many daily commuters have decided to migrate from personal vehicles to public transport options like train, bus, taxi and autos.

Jainam Shah, who belongs to Mulund, commented, "I will join my friends in the first class compartment of suburban train from June 1 as we have decided not to go to our south Mumbai offices by car anymore. There are invariably traffic snarls on the eastern express highway during peak hours because of which we spend a lot on petrol."

Keeping in mind the impact that this migration of daily commuters will have on petrol sales, Ravi Shinde, an official of Petrol Dealers' Association, commented that Maharashtra government should roll back duty and cess on the fuel. Such a move by the authorities will effectively bring down the price by approximately Rs. 15-17.

The state transport department itself has asked Mumbaikars to opt for CNG-run personal vehicles as these are eco-friendly and will invariably save costs related to tax and fuel. V. N. More, the transport commissioner of Maharashtra, commented, "Our department is encouraging people to opt for battery-operated and CNG run cars. While the motor vehicle tax on battery cars has been waived off, it has been reduced by 2% (from 7% to 5%) for CNG cars."

As per reports, car retailers have already begun receiving inquiries regarding retro-fitting of CNG kits on cars as well as CNG variants from customers. According to a spokesperson of Mahanagar Gas Limited, the organisation promotes the installation of CNG kits in cars as well as conversion of petrol and diesel vehicles to eco-friendly models. The spokesperson stated, "The mileage for petrol car is 8 to 12 km/litre on busy roads and with the air-conditioner on. In CNG, the mileage is 20 km/kg of gas. You save a lot of money and can continue travelling in your own car." Conversely, auto makers like Maruti, Tata and Hyundai declared higher discounts on petrol vehicles to lure buyers following the petrol price rise of Rs. 7.54.

The masses have demanded improved public transport infrastructure as well as more AC buses and private taxis. As per a consumer activist, the tremendous demand for public transport in Mumbai can be fulfilled with the introduction of 1 lac autos, 50,000 taxis and 10,000 cool cabs.

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