BHOPAL : The petrol pump owners of the State have decided to challenge the government order, asking them not to dispense petrol to two-wheeler riders not wearing helmets. The “MP Petrol Pump Owners’ Association” – representing the proprietors of around 2,200 petrol pumps in the State – is planning to file a petition in the Jabalpur High Court within the next two or three days, seeking quashing of the order and a stay on its execution till the final disposal of the plea.

The government issued the order on Tuesday following the Indore bench of the HC, a couple of days back, quashing a bunch of PILs, challenging the order as violative of the Essential Commodities Act and vacating the stay on its implementation.

The Association president Ajay Singh told Free Press that the government’s order was impractical and would create problems for the owners. He said that there would be frequent disputes with customers, which would affect their business. “It will become a big headache for us”.

Moreover, it would make the CCTV cameras installed on their premises redundant. Presently, CCTV cameras record the face of the two-wheeler riders as well as details of the vehicles. And the footages of these cameras are frequently used by law enforcing agencies to identify criminals and nab them. “After all, every criminal – whether he be a chain-snatcher or a murderer or even a terrorist – riding a two-wheeler will have to get it re-fuelled at one petrol pump or the other”, he said. And the police know this fact very well.

Now, such elements, he said, will come to petrol pumps wearing full-face helmets with tainted visors. “Will we ask them to take off their helmets before we fill petrol in their vehicles so that the cameras can record their faces?” He asked.

Singh was of the view that such measures would not work.

“The best way to create awareness among the two-wheeler riders and to make them realise that wearing helmets is in their own interest. The people should also understand that helmet can save their lives”.

Business as usual

The order was not followed at most of the petrol pumps on Wednesday. Petrol was freely sold to two-wheeler riders not wearing helmets. When asked, the owners took the plea that they were yet to receive formal orders. Two-wheeler riders, on the other hand, expressed ignorance about the order. “I am not aware of any such rule”, one of them said.

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