By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, February 11: Prices of essential commodities and transportation costs in Assam seem to be on a one-way track – they go up, often frequently, but seldom come down. The commoners are the ones who have to bear the brunt of this one-way traffic.
It has been quite glaring that in the past six months the price of petrol was slashed by Rs 17 a litre and that of diesel by Rs 13 a litre. The fares of city buses, both of ASTC and ASTC-operated and privately owned, and trackers (diesel taxis) went up when there had been hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. The prices of various essential commodities were also hiked in the state as follow-up effects of the hike in prices of petrol and diesel since the rise in transportation costs have much to do with the prices of commodities that are being transported from places to places.
However, of late, there has been drastic fall in oil prices but the bus fares and prices of essential commodities in the state remain unchanged. The state Transport Department, which is prompt enough to hike bus fares as and when there is rise in prices of oil, is keeping a stoic silence on the issue of legitimate fare cut for reasons best known to it.
The consumers in the state also blame the State Food and Civil Supplies Department with a similar charge. They are of the firm view that when there is fall in transportation costs, the prices of essential commodities are bound to fall.
Meanwhile, taking all such issues to the fore the Guwahati City Committee of the SUCI today demonstrated in front of the office of the deputy commissioner, Kamrup (M) and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister through the DC.
They demanded of the Chief Minister that the increased bus fares and prices of essential commodities should be immediately rolled back to what they had been earlier.
The SUCI members gathered at the Judges’ Field today and shouted slogans. From there, they went to the DC office in a procession and submitted the memorandum.