The state government is likely to reconsider the No Helmet, No Fuel rule that is likely to be implemented from August 1.
Giving in to the resistance from two-wheeler riders and petrol pump owners, the government has decided to assess the feasibility of its implementation, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Assembly on Thursday.
To reduce casualties in road accidents, the state government has decided to strictly implement rules related to road safety.
From August 1, no two-wheeler riders would be sold petrol at fuel stations if found without a helmet. The rules issued by the government put the responsibility on the petrol pump owners. The two decisions led to adverse reactions from two-wheeler riders and fuel dealers who had threatened strike from August 1.
The Opposition raised the issue in the Lower House saying it was against public sentiments. Former deputy chief minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said though the government’s intention was sincere, the policy was not practical.
“Some groups in Pune have prepared to make helmets available outside petrol pumps for Re1 for the sake of re-fuelling the tanks as per the new policy. This would defeat the purpose,” he said.
Responding to the issue, Fadnavis said, “Besides making helmets compulsory, we wanted to tap other ways to get riders wear them, and hence announced the compulsion of helmet-for-fuel. The intention was positive as the percentage of two-wheeler riders not wearing helmet in fatal accident is high.”
He, however, said that in the backdrop of the resistance, the transport department has been directed to check the feasibility of the initiative. The government will also check if any other measures to bring awareness among two-wheeler riders can be adopted, he said.
“We have also heard of the CM’s announcement in the legislature but nothing has reached us in writing. Our decision to go on strike from August 1 is a protest against the decision. Our boys working at the pumps will be at risk, as refusing petrol for not having worn a helmet may lead to flashpoints and brawls. I think even Fadnavis, when in the Opposition, had spoken against the compulsion of the helmet looking at the inconvenience caused to the riders. I think his announcement is a welcome step,” said Ravi Shinde, president, Petrol Dealers’ Association, Mumbai.