Now, here’s some good news for anxious commuters using public transport in the city.

Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and operators of vans and share autorickshaws are unlikely to pass the burden of Friday’s diesel price hike to commuters.

A day after the Centre allowed State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) to set diesel prices, Indian Oil and other OMCs hiked the price of diesel by 45 paise on Thursday.

This is expected to incur MTC an additional expenditure of Rs. 8 crore per month. The hike will also eat into the revenue of those operating private vans and share autorickshaws.

However, MTC officials said the burden would not be passed on to commuters. Owners of share autorickshaws and private vans too, echoed the same view.

MTC buses use nearly 2.32 lakh litres of diesel every day and spend over Rs. 27 lakh on daily fuel expenses.

Share-autorickshaw owners said their efforts to increase fares in the recent past had been unsuccessful.

“A few months ago, when we hiked fares from Rs. 5 to Rs. 7, passengers protested and some even refused to pay the revised fare. Hence, we reverted to the old rate of Rs. 5,” said K. Ramanathan of Thangaradham (Tata Magic) Drivers Association.

Diesel price hike will also result in a cascading effect on the prices of petroleum-derived products. “The price of tyre will shoot up. But we cannot hike rent on our vehicles,” said R. Kamalakannan of Tamil Nadu Van Owners Association.

Private school vans and load-vans consume about 25 litres of diesel per day. “We will have to shell out more on fuel. But if we hike our rates, we stand the risk of losing customers. Especially in school vans. Parents will not agree to pay more van fees,” said Mr. Kamalakannan.

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