Srinagar: Imtiyaz Ahmad, an employee of a Srinagar-based private company used to commute to office in his four-wheeler.
However, he said that for the past few years, as petrol prices jumped from Rs 80 to over Rs 100, it was getting hard for him to afford the commute on a four-wheeler.
Now, as the petrol prices have reached Rs 104.56 in Kashmir, Imtiyaz, like many others in Kashmir, has switched to a two-wheeler.
“I work in the private sector and have a family to feed. With soaring petrol prices, a four-wheeler is a luxury that I cannot afford anymore. I got myself a second hand two-wheeler with good mileage and that is how I prefer to go to the office now. I can’t spend my salary on commuting. If the prices of petrol continue to go up, I think common people like me will have to ground their vehicles or sell them and switch to two-wheelers and public transport,” he said.
Few months back, the petrol prices in Kashmir and across other Indian states touched Rs 100.
It didn’t stop there. The multiple hikes have now crossed the petrol prices above Rs 104 in Kashmir. Traders, entrepreneurs and common people have been saying that the soaring prices have affected their business and day-to-day life.
Rayees Ahmad, a young entrepreneur who founded Kashmir’s first tiffin-delivery service ‘Tiffin Aaw’ says that the unprecedented hike in petrol prices has affected his business.
“I used around a dozen vehicles, both two and four-wheelers to deliver food. As I started more than two years back, the prices were around Rs 80. Now it has reached Rs 104. The petrol prices affect the prices of everything that is transported. I haven’t hiked prices for food despite the hike in petrol prices. If this thing continues, we will run in losses as a huge amount of my money goes into keeping my vehicles running,” Rayees said.
He said that he wanted to add more vehicles to his fleet but was now thinking of an alternative.
“I thought of going for an electric scooter, but given the harsh climatic conditions, it is not feasible. Four-wheelers are out of option and now I’m looking for low consumption two-wheelers,” he said.
The transporters who have been suffering for the past three years owing to multiple lockdowns say that they are also facing the brunt as diesel prices also kept going up.
Hazratbal cab stand president Aijaz Ahmad said, “In early 2019, the diesel prices were around Rs 75 and now have crossed Rs 92. If the prices keep going up, they will reach Rs 100 within no time. We have been facing lockdowns for three years and high-fuel prices are another issue for us. After years of losses when the government should have provided us some sort of respite, our expenditure like insurance and yearly token prices doubled. In such circumstances it is hard for us to survive and feed our families.”
With the continuous rise of petrol prices, people are turning to two-wheelers and even electric scooters. The business community and common people say that the soaring fuel prices have affected the prices of every commodity.