The Maharashtra government is likely to reconsider the ‘No helmet, no fuel’ rule, set to be implemented from August 1. Giving in to the resistance from two-wheeler riders and petrol pump owners, the government decided to assess the feasibility of its implementation, said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday.
Speaking in the Assembly, he said the state government decided to implement strict road safety- related rules to reduce the casualties in road accidents. From August 1, no two-wheeler riders will be sold petrol at pumping stations if they are not wearing helmets. These rules put the onus on petrol pump owners. In an adverse reaction to the rules, two-wheeler riders and fuel dealers had threatened to 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. “Groups in Pune are preparing to make helmets available outside petrol pumps for Re 1, just for refuelling purposes. This will defeat the original purpose,” he said.
Fadnavis said, “Besides making helmets compulsory, we wanted to tap ways to get riders to wear them, and hence announced the compulsion of helmet-for-fuel. Our intention was positive as the percentage of two-wheeler riders who don’t wear helmets and meet with fatal accidents is high.”
He added that the government will look into measures to increase awareness among riders.