As a ‘No Helmet No Fuel’ policy for two-wheelers is set to be implemented across Gautam Budh Nagar district from June 1, petrol pump owners are apprehensive of possible violence by customers.
According to the administration, from June 1, no petrol will be provided to a two-wheeler if either the driver or the pillion rider is found not wearing a helmet. While hailing the decision in principle, workers across various petrol pumps have questioned its implementation.
“The brunt of this policy will fall directly on petrol pump employees. Our biggest fear is local residents, who live in localities nearby. We are bound to face resistance from them,” said Sukhpal, a supervisor at a petrol pump near Noida Stadium.
On May 15, the Noida administration held a meeting with pump owners to seek their feedback on the policy. Owners have been asked to install hoardings and banners at their pumps to make people aware of the move, and circulate messages on various groups and social media.
Over the next 10 days, authorities have been asked to inform those riding without a helmet that they will not be provided fuel from next month if they don’t follow the policy.
“We need constant police vigil and monitoring. The administration has promised us action in case someone creates a ruckus. But for how many cases will this happen? Even today, when we told a driver about the move, he asked us to mind our own business. They tell us not wearing a helmet is their choice and our job is to give them fuel. The move is great, but it will come at the cost of our safety,” said Mohit, who is stationed at an Indian Oil petrol pump near Pari Chowk.
“It’s even more dangerous at night… some of our customers are students from nearby colleges… they drive without helmets… even if they get into a small argument with us, they call other people,” he added.
Owners claimed a similar policy had come into effect in early 2017 but was later scrapped due to difficulty in implementation.
“I am confident that there will be cooperation. We have the support of the public, petrol pump owners and the media. There will be strictest action against those who create a problem. If there is violence, they will be arrested under section 151 of the CrPC or other relevant sections of the law,” said B N Singh, District Magistrate (Gautam Budh Nagar). The administration did not comment on any previous policy being implemented and allegedly scrapped.
Despite prima-facie problems, some pump managers are hopeful for change. “If there is nuisance, it will only be for a few days. Eventually people will realise that they are not above the law. We might face problems, but a life can be saved if someone wears a helmet,” said Priyavrit, who owns a pump in Greater Noida.
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