After an unsuccessful attempt to make helmet mandatory for two-wheeler riders in Indore last year, the district administration has once again swung into action to implement the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ rule from Saturday. The fresh directive comes only a day after a division bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court quashed a petition filed against the district administration’s order.
The administration has directed petrol pump owners not to give petrol to helmetless two-wheeler riders under section 3/7 of Essential Commodities Act, district collector P Narhari said on Friday. “What we are doing is in larger public interest and so I expect full cooperation from your (petrol pump dealers’) side,” he said at a meeting with a section of petrol pump dealers.
Several petrol pump owners have urged the collector to ensure adequate security at all the fuel pumps to prevent any untoward incident.
The administration had found few abiders when they brought in the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ rule last year. The ratio of helmetless two-wheeler riders, however, fell once commuters started facing hardships at fuel stations and the traffic police started issuing challans.
“We are bound to follow any order that is issued under the Essential Commodities Act, but the problem lies in its implementation. The collector has assured us of adequate security by stationing cops at each refueling station. PCR vans will also be kept handy,” MP Petroleum Products Dealers Association office-bearer, Sudhir Arien, said.
The return of the helmet rule, however, has brought smiles back to vendors selling helmets. “I don’t care much about the administration’s move, but my business has doubled since (Friday) morning as a lot of people have bought helmets. I am happy as my sales are going up,” said Chandu Atre, a helmet vendor.
The administration had made wearing helmet compulsory in the city in November 2014 and then again in April 2015, but the traffic police had failed to implement the directive ostensibly because it was short of manpower.
Rules are meant to be broken, and two-wheeler riders are no different. According to petrol pump dealers last year when the ‘no helmet, no petrol’ was imposed several two-wheeler riders simply borrowed the headgear from other customers coming to the pump.
“If a rider has a helmet then we need to give them him/her petrol. They need to wear a helmet on our premises, but once they move out it becomes the duty of the police to keep a check. There are times when a biker simply removes the helmet after leaving the pump,” said a petrol pump owner.