TIRUPATI:The Andhra Pradesh Government’s decision to make helmets mandatory for two-wheeler riders in the state from July 1 has come as a shot in the arm for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which too has been trying in vain for the last few years enforce it on the Tirumala Ghat Roads.
As the serpentine Ghat Roads with several sharp curves are prone to accidents, mostly involving two-wheelers, the TTD had decided to implement the helmet rule in 2008 and again in 2014. It had then proposed to either levy fines on the errant riders or prevent them from entering the Ghat Roads.
Both times, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams had to withdraw the same after a few days, following mounting criticism of its action from various quarters.
According to TTD officials, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams employees, shopkeepers at Tirumala, pilgrims mostly from Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore and the bordering districts of neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka form a major chunk of the violators on Ghat Roads.
With the government itself announcing to make helmets compulsory, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams officials felt they too could insist on its implementation on Ghat Roads from July 1.
Most of the two-wheeler riders in the temple city felt the government would postpone the implementation of the proposal.
However, the police and transport department officials maintained that they would strictly implement the new rule from the said date itself.
“All two-wheeler and pillion riders should wear helmets compulsorily and we will enforce the new rule from July 1. As there is enough time to buy helmets, we expect all cooperation,” said Tirupati Urban SP Gopinath Jetty.