Click here to visit RCCIIT Students' Linux Users' Group. Click here to visit my home page at Fedora.


Too early for tomorrow... our pet project

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

O no, not again.

The Central Government has hiked the price of petrol once again. And I guess that a bus fare hike is in the offing in Kolkata. The process is simple: every time there is a hike in the prices of the fuels, the transport unions (leftists through necessity of survival) call a transport strike and soon the government gives in to their demands and increases the bus fares. The commuters do not have a union (they prefer the secret ballot than brandishing their political affiliations in public) and hence there is hardly any protest.

The government must think of alternative methods of running the public transport before the situation spirals out of control. It cannot go on increasing the fares while the spending capability of the common man does not improve. While CNG and LPG as media to power the transport are available, there has been very few takers for them. However, as these too are non-renewable, research has to be undertaken in long-haul solar powered, battery powered, nuclear powered vehicles.

As a temporary measure to check the burden on the common man, the government must ear-mark two categories of petroleum product users: one essential and the other luxury. The public transport, cooking gas and kerosene dispensed through the fair price shops must fall in the first category. These users must be provided the daily doses of fuel at a subsidised price. The second category must comprise the shopping malls (running gen-sets), private vehicles, airlines, etcetera which may obtain the fuels at a premium. This will ensure that only the people who can afford to are made to pay higher (and also might bring down the pollution level).

Yes, there may be pilferage on a large scale. But, a government is supposed to prevent malpractices: tamper-proof locks may be fitted on petrol tanks, fuel-cards may be issued to ration fuels.

The means are present. The will is missing.

1 comment:

  1. Very good! Great idea...

    Implement the hike for the second category and see what happens. How could you even think that this way there will be no protests and all that?

    Implementation of a hike for only a group of financial stalwarts is not going to be welcomed as silently as you think. It doesn't matter...whatever you do, these parties just need an excuse to come on the roads! Now they come up for the bus owners, tomorrow they'll turn up for the mall owners.

    We, being the general commuters, may feel exceedingly bad when it comes to an increase in fares and its true that there must be a way to solve these problems which keep on recurring. But as far as public products like fuels are concerned, you simply can't implement that 'pay-more-as-you-can-afford' thing. And a classification as straightforward as that is not going to yield anything.