R. Ravikanth Reddy
Shopkeepers not sure whether it will up sales
High Court directions spur two-wheeler drivers into actionPeople in general are not opposed to helmetsPolice should enforce helmet rule strictly Students feel colleges should make it mandatory to enter campus
HYDERABAD: The sudden rush at helmet shops in the city says it all. They did not pour in but the trickle got heavier by the evening at the shops in Abids and Ramkote indicating the seriousness of all two-wheeler drivers to buy one with the High Court giving directions to the State Government to make helmets mandatory from next month.
Shopkeepers are not surprised over the increasing sales as they were expecting the judgment in the favour of the Government given similar directions in other major cities such as New Delhi or Mumbai.
Sales will increase now but it won't be like the previous year when people all of a sudden rushed to the shops and stocks vanished in couple of days.
"A majority of them have already bought last year itself when wearing helmet was made mandatory," says Manish of Mohan Motorcycle House in Ramkote. "They will now start wearing them."
To suit all purses
There are enough stocks in the city and people need not fear artificial shortage or jacked up prices, according to Manish.
They are available from Rs. 350 to Rs. 1,200 depending on quality and the brand. Popular brands like Volga, Vega and Star are procured from Belgaum in Karnataka while Wrangler, Aerostar and Studds come from factories in Gurgaon.
Go for ISI-marked one
"Difference between ISI marked and non-ISI marked helmets is not huge so its safe to buy an ISI-marked one," Manish feels.
"This time there seems to be no escape," said Ahmed Pasha, buying a helmet at Deccan Hat Works in Abids. The middle-aged employee in a private firm, however, has no problems with the court directions.
He agrees that helmet is for his safety but it was sheer lethargy that he did not buy one all these days. "Unless it is enforced people tend to take it easy." Another young buyer at the same shop concurs with his views.
"The police should be serious and the initial enthusiasm should not fade away as it is the case always."
Unlike the popular belief college students are not very disappointed. In fact, they are already tuned to the idea given the pressure put in by the Government last time.
"Helmet is must whenever I go out on my bike now," says Srijit, an MBA student. In fact, he feels all colleges should ensure that bikes without helmets should not be allowed to enter the college.
Some engineering colleges on the outskirts have already done it after a few students were killed in road accidents. Similar steps by all establishments whether Government or private can create awareness.