CHENNAI: Low price helmets, strict checks on water manufacturing industries and a grievance redressal committee for Metro Rail and auto drivers were the needs and issues discussed by the Tamil Nadu Consumer Protection Organisation (TNCPO) at their central office in Railway Colony on Sunday.
After the government made it mandatory for motorists to wear helmets, there has been a huge increase in prices. Members from the TNCPO have raised concern over affordability and durability of the helmets. “This is not the first time such a rule has been implemented, the previous government too had done the same. What we are worried about is that now stores have begun to sell Rs 400-worth helmets for Rs 1,000 or more. A middle class family cannot afford to buy helmets for everyone in their family who rides or sits on the vehicle,” said Paul Barnabas, president of the organisation. Members also raised concerns over the availability of ISI marked helmets. “Not many know how to differentiate between real and fake ISI marks. None of these issues has been looked into while devising this rule,” he added.
As a solution to this problem, members suggested that if the government wanted speedy implementation, they could start selling helmets at ration shops or float a tender and sell them in co operative stores like the Triplicane Urban Cooperative Society (TUCS). “This will be reasonable and will draw lot of people to buy helmets,” said G Palani, another member.
At the meeting they also spoke about the need to conduct regular checks on water manufacturing industries, auto meters and most importantly reopen the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in the city. A mediation centre which was opened by the Federation Of India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in the year 2011, trained 11 members from the city at the office of the Commissioner of Civil Supplies in Chepauk the same year. Paul claimed that the Centre shut for the last one year due to lack of funds and this had led to out-of-court settlements. “We have the Home Department and the consumer forum as well, but the non functioning of this Centre has caused a lot of problems. Reopening it can help clear a lot of pending cases.”
Taking down all these suggestions from members, TNCPO will be submitting a detailed resolution to the CM’s office, the Chief Justice of Madras High Court and the Chief Secretary of the State. “We are doing all that we can to ensure that the consumers live well. We hope our points are taken into consideration,” added Paul.