Prices of Petrol and Diesel in the country are sky rocketing causing an adverse chain reaction to the people in the midst of deadly Covid-19 pandemic. The price of normal petrol in Imphal has jumped to a maximum whooping of Rs 105.89 per litre at Imphal-West and Rs 105.90 per lis tre at Imphal-East while the price of a litre of diesel is sold maximum at Rs 93.87 per litre in Imphal-West and Rs.93.88 at Imphal-East and the extra premium is sold still higher at Rs. 109.66 per litre.
In an interaction with many customers at different oil pumps of Manipur, the unmistakable sense that overflowed was of unhappiness. Most were disillusioned by the unabated rise in the price of fuel and the way things were being managed by the authorities even in the midst of the universal COVID misery. Most of them resented that such unprecedented hike has caused a lot of additional hardships for the common people.
The public lamented that especially during these hard times when the whole world is in deep financial and health trouble on account of Covid-19 pandemic, nonstop increase of fuel prices has added extra burden particularly for the poorer section.
It is the high time to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to immediately rollback the price, most of them resonated.
Petrol pump staffs too showed their helplessness saying that they have no authority over the continuous hike in fuel price and maintained that the daily prices are updated by the centre online and they were just discharging their duty. They also faced a lot of complaints from the customers everyday, added the workers.
Meanwhile, many organizations and bodies including members of the Left parties agitated and expressed displeasure over the silence by the state government despite the 15-day nationwide protest by Left party which began on June 16. They drew the attention of the state government urging it to reduce immediately and roll back the price of state taxes on petrol, diesel and essential items. They however complained that the government instead of complying has further increased fuel prices in Manipur.
It has been also asserted by the people of Manipur that increase in prices of essential items brought in from outside by trucks, is adding to the woes of Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
They also were dismayed that the state government is not making any positive move especially when neighbouring state Nagaland has shown the way by reducing state tax share on price of petrol and diesel.
News Anchor at Mami TV, and student, Department of Mass Communication, Manipur University