Coimbatore: “Buy 25 kg of Rajbogham Ponni rice and get an ISI helmet for free” – is a notice that passers-by had not failed to notice, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where wearing helmet is being made compulsory from July 1. This board outside MS Mani Maligai Supermarket on Kovai Road in Pollachi, about 40-odd km from Coimbatore had drawn huge crowd the last couple of days. The board has now been withdrawn though. such a news came out in a south based newspaper.
“We have run out of helmet stock, not the rice” said the shop keeper, when this correspondent enquired about the offer. Not surprising though, for in less than 48 hours the rule is going to be implemented and the violators face risk of their vehicle documents being impounded under section 206 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.Mani Maligai incidentally operates three outlets in Pollachi. The store had initially placed order for 2,000 helmets from a supplier in Delhi. “We got the consignment for just half the quantity. It was quite unfortunate that trains from upcountry destinations were cancelled due to rains in the meanwhile and the supplier could not despatch the remaining lot immediately,” a staff at the supermarket said, when asked if the store had withdrawn the freebie. Meanwhile, there is a mad rush in select outlets that sell helmets and the price has started to sky-rocket in recent days.