Earlier in February, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had taken a jibe at his own party, noting that fuel prices in neighbouring Nepal and Sri Lanka were far lower than that in India. “Petrol Rs 93 in Ram’s India, Rs 53 in Sita’s Nepal, Rs 51 in Ravan’s Lanka,” he had written at the beginning of the month. Now, as fuel prices continue to rise, ordinary Indians appear to be realising this for themselves.
With petrol prices crossing the Rs. 100 mark in some areas, irate Indians are now eyeing the lower prices offered by Nepal. And while some restrict themselves to lamenting about the fact that they don’t live close to the border, others have turned to smuggling fuel.
According to reports, people in Bihar’s Araria and Kishanganj have now begun crossing the border, avoiding major thoroughfares and attempting to smuggle petrol. Reportedly, several such people have been caught by officials.
According to a LiveHindustan report, petrol is presently available for around Rs. 70. Across the border in Bihar’s Araria, it costs over Rs. 93. What has Indians further incensed is the fact that Nepal buys fuel from India. As per multiple reports, Nepal imports both petrol and diesel. Alongside, the Nepal Oil Corporation also obtains kerosene, aviation fuel and LPG from the Indian Oil Corporation.
While a section of social media users are lamenting about the rising fuel prices, others are wondering whether it is too late to move to Nepal, or at least set up residence close to the border.