No helmet, no petrol policy hard


City-based petrol pump operators are up in arms against the state’s ‘No Helmet, No Petrol’ policy which was announced on Thursday.As per the new rule, the bikers riding without helmets will be denied fuel at petrol pumps across the state. The rule is inclusive of pillion riders as well. States transport minister Diwakar Raote had announced the decision in the state legislature’s ongoing session on Thursday.Petrol pump operators claim that the decision is very hard to implement and it’s not their duty to keep a watch on riders without helmets.Kiran Patil, Kolhapur District Diesel and Petrol Pump Association secretary, said, “According to the marketing discipline guidelines (MDG) of the oil companies and the Centre, it is not mandatory for pump operators should not sell petrol to those without helmets. The state is trying to do away with the responsibility of other departments such as the traffic department. Today, they are saying that those without helmets will not get petrol, and maybe tomorrow they will insist that bikers get a PUC to get petrol. The decision will ruin our business.”The state by an order of December 2015, has made it compulsory for two-wheeler riders and pillion riders to wear helmets. However, the order received a poor response from citizens.In the Thursday’s notification, the regional transport office (RTO), petrol pump operators and traffic police have to ensure that the rule is being implemented.”The state never asked us before formulating such a policy. We will be unable to concentrate on our work if policy implementation starts and thereby leads to losses. Also, we can’t refuse anyone demanding petrol merely as he or she is not wearing a helmet. We will meet state authorities and ask them not to involve petrol pump operators to implement the policy,” Patil said.The traffic police have the responsibility to fine riders without helmets.A traffic department official said that they can’t keep a watch on whether the policy is strictly implemented as they lack adequate staff.A traffic department official, said, “We do not have the sufficient number of staff at present. Our teams have been deployed at traffic signals and we have hired private contractors to act against illegal parking. Under such circumstances, it is hard to act against violators of the helmet rule.”

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