With the verdict of the Supreme Court making it mandatory for pillion riders to wear helmets, sale of helmets in the city has shot up, especially half covered helmets are in much demand amongst women compared to men.
A large number of women in city were found seeking shops selling helmets, even mobbing the roadside vendors to purchase helmet for themselves as children. Helmets of different colours and size, some with floral designs on them, others with stripes and designs of toys were sold in good number. The toys designs are in particular sold for children. Helmets moderately priced around Rs 150 to Rs 250 were picked up easily.
The street vendors who were seen siting idle most of the times all these days by selling hardly 3 to 5 helmets per day, are now found busy. There is also increase in number of sellers in main thoroughfares of the city, including NR Mohalla, Opposite to Crawford Hall, Kuvempu Double Road, Ooty Road, Taluk Office, Ramuswamy Circle, RTO, Bogadi, JP Nagar, Vidyaranyapuram, Udayagiri and several other places.
The sellers and dealers said that the sell has increased drastically with city's Traffic Police have announced that they start imposing fines beginning February 1, for pillion riders who violate rules. The branded and good quality ones were sold from Rs 400 to Rs 1000.
Majority of helmets to Mysore are supplied from factories situated in Belgaum and Bengaluru, while some come from Delhi. Even China made helmets are also being sold. Most of the helmet shops are located in city at Chamaraja Double Road and Sawdey Road.
Nemichand who sells helmet near Sub-Urban Bus Stand says: 'Earlier I could sell only 3 to 5 helmets per day. Whereas, now an average of 25-40 helmets are being sold every day.
'I sell most of the helmets to villagers who come to pick up near bus stand. I approach them and informing that its mandatory for pillion riders to wear helmet, and convince them to purchase the helmet near me. With this the sale has increased from last couple of days, and am having good business,' thus he revealed his business trick.
Another seller Rekhi who sells helmet on Ooty Road says: 'The business is catching up for the past two days. Most of the two wheelers pass over Mysore-Nanjangud Road, will have pillion riders, and its helping to have good business. Out of fear some voluntarily come and purchase helmets. Am also, planning to deploy another person in Vegetable Market near exhibition to sell helmet for farmers, who come to city daily to sell greens, vegetables.'
Another Dealer Sunil added that he has seen a hike of 12 to 15 per cent for the past one week in his business. College student Gowri says: 'I usually go out with my friends and the accompany in my vehicle. With helmet being mandatory, am purchasing a helmet which can be accommodated in my vehicle trunk.'
Retail Dealers say there is huge demand from wholesalers for helmets and the same things continue, they might face shortage in stock.
According to Helmet dealer Rajesh they are investing more this month, as the sales are catching up. He added, as of now the stock is sufficient, whereas with increase in demand they might face shortage in the coming days. Anyways, several sellers had already kept sufficient stocks in godowns anticipating the demand for helmets as the deadline approached.
We are less fortunate
With laying of concrete roads works going on Chamaraja Double Road, the helmet sellers in the stretch are cursing the officials.
Around ten helmet dealers who have set up shops in the busy junction were found cursing the officials for delay in completion of the ongoing work of concreting the road, which has severely affected their business since Dasara.
'We have seen steep decline in sale of helmets and are facing severe problems with incomplete road works. This was time we would have made a roaring business, and it seems we are less fortunate,' Abdhulla of helmet shop. 'In usual days itself we used to sell good number of helmets, and with mandate of rule we would have sold more helmets, regretted another sellers.
Citizens disagree the decision
Most of the citizens disagreeing the decision of making them to forcible to wear the helmets said: 'Though we don't wish to wear helmets, out of fear of being penalised and facing legal action we are purchasing helmets. There is no need of introducing helmet for city like Mysuru. There is need of good commutable roads, than wearing helmet.'
While, some young girls said that wearing helmet will lead to hairfall, and it will be difficult to manage hair designs. Beauty Parlour Sumana said: 'With change in life, food habit hair fall cases has increased, and added to it wearing helmet will also contribute. Though regular hair massage hair fall can be prevented.
While, cops say that people should make sure they purchase helmets certified by ISI and should understand the purpose of making the helmet rule mandatory considering their safety.