Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Rising petrol price

The petrol price is up again. And, it's the costliest in Bangalore. Something like Rs 45 per litre. Everywhere else in India it's cheaper.Because, the Karnataka government has levied a slew of surcharges. One of them is for infrastructure. And, see what we have in the city? Where is all this money going? Shouldn't the government tell the people how much money is being collected via surcharge on every litre of petrol we buy?

The Left is protesting the hike. In Kerala yesterday, the right-wing BJP protested. Coming to think of it, there isn't much point protesting. For, the prices are now directly linked to international prices. But still the government is subsidising to some extent. Thanks for small mercies. There was a time when the government paid a good percentage of the cost of our petrol. No longer.

International fuel prices is one big mess. No one really knows what games are being played in the name of oil. There is this theory called "blood for oil", i.e. the American blood in Iraq is being spilt for the benefit of powerful oil companies. There is also the theory why US supports Saudi Arabia despite the latter flouting every principle that America stands for. Just for oil, they say. The oil cartel is one big power broker in the world stage.

It's one big mess because I don't find any sincere move by world's most powerful nations to develop and popularise non-conventional fuels. One is hydrogen fuel. Then, we can have clean fuel cells instead of dirty petrol engines. And, hydrogen can be made by anybody anywhere. I am sure enough research on these have been done world over. One reason why they haven't really caught on, I think, is because of the powerful oil cartel. Or else what could be reason? If governments have money to spend for space exploration, the benefits of which are only indirect, why can't they set apart a little for such things like fuel, which have a direct bearing on people's lives?

All said and done, just look at the vehicles plying on the roads, or the queues at the petrol bunks. You won't believe the price has gone up so much or that petrol is very costly now.

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