Illegal gas filling goes on as authorities turn blind eye

ISLAMABAD  -  Despite a loss of over two hundred precious human lives last year, the illegal lethal business of decanting Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) continues unabated and authorities have turned a blind eye to the issue while risking another catastrophe to happen.  “The loss of around 200 lives and heavy damage to public property due to explosions last year could not shake the conscience of authorities concerned to take some solid measures to curb the menace” said Farrukh Shehzad a resident of Rawalpindi. “Illegal filling points are located in densely populated areas, a number of which are located near schools, posing a constant threat to human lives and property”, said Babar Malik another dweller of the city. The substandard gas cylinders are an icing on the cake and no authority is ready to take action and are passing the buck to each other, he complained. Babar said his cousin lost his life last year after receiving severe injuries when a gas cylinder exploded in an illegal decanting shop. The shop was closed due to public wrath but within one year a new shop has emerged this year in the same vicinity, he added. Shaista Malik a lecturer of Sociology at Viqar-un-Nisa Post Graduate College criticized the general public for their unawareness and indifferent attitude towards this dangerous practice. She said people must urge the relevant authorities to remove unauthorized filling stations. “Illegal decanting is definitely a serious crime but it provides a livelihood to thousands of families,” said Chairman All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association. He however said, the authorities concerned should take stern action against those involved in unauthorized LPG filling in suburban areas after providing with alternative options. When contacted an official of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), requesting not to be named, stated that they keep a strong check on vehicle cylinders filling stations and suspend their permits whenever they find an irregularity there.


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