A "no helmet no petrol" rule was largely flouted by riders of two-wheelers on the first day of its implementation in Indore on Wednesday even as petrol pump owners blamed police for failing to act against those who went against the directive.
Petrol pump owners said they only ensured that riders were wearing a helmet when they drove up to buy fuel.
"If he or she has a helmet, then we need to give them petrol. They need to wear a helmet in our premises, but once they move out, it becomes the duty of the police to keep a check," said a petrol pump owner who did not want to be named.
At many places, riders were seen carrying helmets just as a token, wearing them to buy fuel and then removing them after leaving the petrol pump. Many were also seen borrowing a helmet from others just before riding into petrol pumps.
Expressing their discontent at the move, people blamed the administration and police for shying away from the responsibility of implementing the rule on wearing helmets and for passing accountability to petrol pump owners.
However, some riders had no option but to buy a helmet from kiosk just to buy petrol.
Some helmet sellers saw this as an opportunity to set up kiosks near petrol pumps.
"I don't care about the administration's move but my business has doubled since morning as a lot of people have bought helmets. I am happy with my sales going up," said Chandu Atre, a helmet seller.
Earlier, the administration had made helmets compulsory in the city in November 2014 but the traffic police failed to implement the directive, ostensibly because it was short of manpower.
District collector Aakash Tripathi, in an order dated March 25, warned petrol pump dealers that failure to obey the directive would lead to penal action under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955.
Petrol pumps made it clear that they wouldn’t sell petrol to riders who were without helmets.
DSP (Traffic) GB Rawat said, "Since everyone needs petrol so we thought that by making helmet compulsory we will boost sale of helemts which will eventually ensure safety of two-wheeler riders on the road."