No helmet, no puja whip on bikers
Paradip: The priests of a temple in the city have stopped offering puja of two-wheelers if the riders are not wearing helmets.
The Maa Sarala temple management, abiding by police instructions, implemented the "no helmet-no puja" policy by refusing the puja rituals to vehicle owners, who had turned up without the safety gear.
It is the district police's strategy to reduce the road fatalities involving two-wheeler riders. The police held talk with the temple managements across the district. They have consented to abide by the police instructions, said Jagatsinghpur police superintendent Jay Narayan Pankaj.
The Maa Sarala temple housing the presiding deity of local people in Tirtol police limits is a favoured destination for bike riders to offer puja to stave off-road accidents. Every day, new motorcyclists throng the temple to perform puja. In a bid to cultivate helmet wearing practice right from the day of purchase, the police and temple priests sat together and decided that there would be no puja for the helmet-less bike owner, said Pankaj.
"Paying due regard to the police initiative, we refused the bikers, who visited the shrine without helmets yesterday. The helmet-less bikers later revisited the temple for puja with helmets. The priests will strictly follow it for safety of bike riders," said the temple's head priest Sudam Charan Panda.
"We are happy to know that temple priests have joined hands with in the road safety drive. The management of other temples in the district has consented to take cue from "no helmet-no puja" principle of the Maa Sarala temple," said Pankaj.
The district police have launched a series of initiatives to curb road accidents. The endeavours are now paying dividends. There has been 14 per cent drop in the rate of road accidents in Jagatsinghpur in 2017 in comparison to the preceding year.
As many as 2,882 motor vehicle prosecution reports were produced in court last year for reckless and helmet-less driving by bikers. An amount of Rs 5,30,700 as penalty was also realised from the defaulters.
The policy is being implemented strictly across the district. The stray dog sterilisation programme is also being undertaken as they are largely attributed to two-wheeler accidents.