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Maha govt to reconsider ‘no helmet, no fuel’ decision


Mumbai : The Maharashtra government has decided to reconsider the ‘No helmet, no fuel’ rule, Transport minister Diwakar Raote informed the state Assembly today.

However, petrol pump owners will be asked to intimate vehicle numbers of two-wheelers where the rider was without helmet, to transport authorities, the minister said.

The decision, set to be implemented from August 1, had met with fierce opposition from pump owners.

Giving into the resistance from two-wheeler riders and petrol pump owners, the government decided to assess the feasibility of its implementation, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said recently.

Speaking in the Assembly on Thursday, Fadnavis had said the state government decided to implement strict road safety-related rules to reduce the casualties in road accidents.

Raote had announced last month that 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 who had threatened to go on strike.

The Opposition had 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 had 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,” Fadnavis had said.

The government will look into measures to increase awareness among riders, he said.

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