Thursday, February 22nd 2024

Fuel shortage prompts bicycle usages in Rakhine State

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 09 December 2023
  • | Viewer: 2.9k

 As the continuous blockade of transportation routes by the military council resulted in fuel shortages and subsequent increase of its price in Rakhine State, the commuters started avoiding the motorcycles. So more people now opt for bicycles as an alternative means for affordable transportation.


Prior to the resurgence of conflicts in the Rakhine region, the price of 92 RON gasoline in Sittwe township was MMK 2,200 per litre. But now it has increased up to MMK 30,000.


A Sittwe resident said that by 8 December, one litre of gasoline costs MMK 30,000.


“I've heard that it's available for purchase after queuing at Kone Tan and priced at MMK 9,000 per litre. However, due to the shortage of supply and time constraints many people can not buy the fuel. I have already repaired my bicycle for various uses,” he added.

In Mrauk-U township, the price of one liter 92 RON gasoline was around MMK 2,400 before the conflict. By early December, the price escalated to a range between MMK 15,000 and MMK 20,000.


The residents are finding difficulties in collecting the necessary volume of fuel, said a local resident.


"We can not obtain the volume gasoline as needed. It's a struggle to secure even one litre gasoline. More people are now using bicycles, who used motorcycles earlier. Many are walking to reach their destinations,” he added.


In Taungup township too, the cost of one litre 92 RON gasoline was MMK 2,350 before the conflict. As of now, the price has increased to a range between MMK 10,000 and 12,000.


"They are selling fuel secretly allowing customers to get only one litre at the maximum. Many gas stations with sufficient volume of fuel avoid selling it to the general customers. They plan to sell outside with elevated prices. So the people are avoiding motorcycles and adopting bicycles which has also declined the number of accidents,” said a local resident.


Similarly in Ponna Kyunt township, prior to the conflict the price of one litre 92 RON gasoline was MMK 2,700. Presently, it is sold in a range between MMK 18,000 and 20,000.


"When the price of fuel increased, it emerged as a hardship for me. I limited my travels as much as possible. For a short distance I now walk and have already sent my broken bicycle for repair. I've preserved fuel in my motorcycle for emergency uses,” said a local resident.


In Thandwe township too, the price of gasoline was approximately MMK 2,300 per litre in the past, but by the end of November, it surged to a range between MMK 8,000 and MMK 9,000.


Due to the fuel shortage, the residents are making lines to gather fuel from the gas stations to use in motorcycles, three-wheelers, and cars.


"We don't have access to fuel all the time. They will allocate it one day in a month. The cost is MMK 5,000 for a motorcycle and MMK 10,000 for the three-wheelers or cars. They've divided the delivery days like one day for motorcycles, one day for three-wheelers and another day for cars. Due to security concerns, we normally refrain from riding vehicles,” stated a resident.


In Maungdaw township, the residents informed that the price of one litre gasoline in early November was MMK 2,800. Currently it has gone up to MMK 8,000.


Since 13 November, when the gun fighting returned to the Rakhine region, the junta forces blocked all roads and waterways. As a result, the Rakhine townships including Sittwe, have witnessed the decrease of motor vehicles and subsequent increase in the use of bicycles and cycle rickshaws.

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