Cuttack: The sale of helmets has gone up manifold in the Silver City here in the wake of imposition of hefty penalties on the violators of traffic and road safety rules under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.
Some traders are now raking in moolah by charging high prices for helmets as the demand for the protective headgears has witnessed steep rise recently, sources said.
The state government has implemented the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act September 1, 2019.
Now, traffic authorities are collecting `1,000 fine each from helmetless bikers.
It is learnt that at least 800 bikers have been penalised for not wearing helmets here within a week.
According to sources, traders from the city are procuring helmets from places outside Odisha like Hyderabad and Delhi to meet the increased demand. “The helmets procured from Hyderabad are being sold at prices up to `1,200. On the other hand, the prices of helmets procured from Delhi start from `700,” said a trader.
Another trader claimed that they are facing supply crunch to meet the demand of helmets in recent days. “Sale of helmets in the last week has outweighed the total sale during the last one year. We do not have adequate stocks to meet the demand,” he said.
According to traders, bikers are least bothered about the quality of helmets. “People are purchasing helmets to save themselves from fines. They are purchasing helmets without considering the risk factor,” said Azim Khan, a trader.
Locals, meanwhile, claimed that traders and shopkeepers are now charging high prices for helmets.
“Now, helmet vending stalls have come up at almost all the intersections in the city. Most of the vendors are charging high prices. The helmet that was available at `400 a few days ago is now being sold at `600,” said Shubhashree Raul, a student.
On the other hand, some bikers have alleged that traders are selling poor quality helmets to meet the heavy demand. “I purchased a helmet at `750 after I was penalised `500 for not wearing the protective gear a few days ago. However, the quality of the helmet was not so good,” said Sisir Kumar Barik, a biker.