Nagpur: Even as the traffic department is finding it hard to cope up with the helmet rule in Nagpur, few petrol pumps on the city borders have come up with an innovative idea to make the head gear compulsory for all two-wheeler riders. As you ride through the Chhindwara road near Saunser that falls in neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh, you will notice the bill-boards outside petrol pumps, reading – “no petrol without helmets” which means the two wheeler riders coming to fuel stations without wearing helmet will not be delivered their fill.
It is learnt that all the petrol pumps in Madhya Pradesh have displayed this bill board by the recent order of the State Government who recently passed on this diktat with an aim to make wearing helmet compulsory.
More recently the road accidents leading to deaths for not wearing head gear have been on the rise in Nagpur. Moreover, sensing the growing opposition from the citizens, the authorities have gone too slow on the helmet checking drive, and instead endorsing two-wheeler riders to voluntarily pick up the choice for safety. However, this initiative has failed to evoke satisfactory response and the two-wheeler riders are seen biking without opting this safety option. As a result the accidents are turning fatal.
The picture is quite likely in the traffic scenario of Nagpur, as wearing helmet has not been in the habit of city riders since ages, and to bring it into compulsory practice would be a hard nut to crack for any administrative authority. Even the people are experiencing discomfort in wearing helmet. But the initiative by these petrol pumps in Madhya Pradesh can prove to be fruitful as there is no rule or compulsion involved but a necessity.
However the President of Vidarbha Petrol Pump Dealers Harvinder Bhatia did not find this initiative practicable. Airing his views, Bhatia told Nagpur Today, “There are various issues these petrol pump owners are facing now in view of this rule in Madhya Pradesh. The reports that pour in suggest that this has seriously affected sales at many petrol pumps following the government’s order. People in villages do not generally wear helmet as they have to commute through the bylanes in their small vicinity only. Also, the quantum of literacy and awareness towards helmet is quite low there. When such riders reach nearby pumps and they are denied refill, it becomes troublesome for both the parties.”
When asked if this rule could be applied in Maharashtra, Bhatia categorically turned down the idea saying that in MP the issues regarding the practice have started cropping up. It would be too difficult to cope up with violating customers, he told Nagpur Today.
On the contrary sources countered that similar voices of opposition were raised in Delhi too when ‘even odd’ rule was invoked there to contain the cluttering traffic. “But see how smooth it is functioning now! Similarly this petrol pump concept could also work if implemented in letter and spirit in Nagpur,” quipped the source.