I just got back from a what-was-supposed to be a quick trip on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road to a friend’s house to drop something off. The trip however took far longer than expected due to the over 100 trucks and buses parked on the Vibhavadi-Rangsit side road outside the Energy Ministry blocking traffic. The drivers of the vehicles are irrate that the government won’t listen to them about the planned NGV fuel price increase, and decided to make their displeasure known. A truck and bus blockade did the job.
Early this morning, truck and bus drivers began a peaceful protest outside the PPT and Energy Ministry building, in an effort to get the Pheu Thai government to listen to their demands to cancel the planned NGV fuel price increase. By lunchtime they were decidedly irked as it was being made clear to them the price increase would go ahead as planned, and they had no say in the matter.
Considering these people, and the companies they work for, have just lost hundreds of millions of baht in income because of Bangkok’s recent floods, it boggles the mind the government would think increasing the NGV fuel price would be acceptable to them now. Then again, this government doesn’t seem to care or, indeed, to even know what it’s doing. So, hardly a surprise, really.
As for the NGV price increase, the Cabinet is allowing PTT to increase the NGV fuel price by 50 satang a month. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you figure out, by the end of the year, NGV fuel will have increased from 8.50 baht per kilo currently to 14.50 baht by December, that’s almost an 80 percent increase in price. No wonder these drivers are upset.
It’s also no surprise the Pheu Thai government is rapidly losing support from just about every segment of the population that voted for them. They make it obvious every day they’re beyond clueless about how to run a country — a fact the opposition Democrats are delightedly exploiting.
Meanwhile, if you plan on driving on the Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, we’d caution you to think again. Traffic is backed up at both sides, as vehicles can’t move in the north bound lane and, in the south bound lane, are stuck as every driver on the road rubbernecks to see what’s going on. If nothing else the truck and bus drivers have achieved their objective – utter chaos at this juncture.