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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack/Balasore/Rourkela: With an aim to reduce fatalities in road accidents 'No Helmet, No Petrol' rule for two-wheeler riders was introduced in Cuttack district in July 2016. It was then said that this rule will be implemented strictly to prevent fatalities in case of road accidents, however the public response and adherence seem to have faded away with time.

Though fuel stations have been instructed to strictly follow the rule, riders without helmets seem to be filling up their tanks at fuel stations, as if no such orders ever existed.

"We were never asked to wear helmet for petrol; even the petrol pump staff never told us anything related to it," said a motorcyclist.

"Initially people followed the rule; awareness programmes were conducted for the same and police constables were also deployed at fuel filling stations.  However, lukewarm response is seen among people now," said manager of CMC petrol pump in Cuttack, Ganesh Chandra Behera.

Similar in Balasore district, people are hardly aware of the norm.

"Some people followed the rule while some didn't. To tackle this problem, we had urged the government to give something in writing to show the riders that it's an order from the government and we can't give petrol to those not wearing helmets. But we didn't get any reply from the concerned department," said staff of a petrol pump in the district.

In 2017, the rule was implemented in Rourkela of Sundergarh district and to ensure it was strictly adhered to CCTVs were installed at petrol pumps.

Several petrol pumps also had to shell out huge amounts as fine for flouting the norm. However, people are no longer following the instructions.

"There is a need of policemen at the filling stations. We are businessmen and we can’t fight with our customers," said manager of a petrol pump in the Steel city, Sunil Kumar Mohapatra.

As per statistics, 37 per cent of deaths in road accidents occurred due to lack of helmets.

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