Lahore: LPG decanting DCOs told to register criminal cases against illegal distributors
LAHORE: The Punjab Government has directed all the district co-ordination officers (DCOs) to register criminal cases against illegal distributors and people decanting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) under sections 285 and 286 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The DCOs have also been directed to ensure the shifting of LPG businesses outside the urban limits to avoid any untoward incident. The DCOs have been asked to furnish reports regarding action taken against illegal distributors dealers and provide the profile of authorised LPG dealers in the province, a letter written to them stated.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had earlier informed the Punjab Government that the illegal sale and decanting of LPG by unauthorised distributors was mushrooming daily in the province. This unchecked business was not only in violation of the LPG Rules, 2001 but was also endangering people’s lives at large.
The OGRA further pinpointed that the incidents of gas cylinder blasts in populated and urban areas had shown a rising trend.
The agency maintained that LPG was a combustible material, and could cause explosions. It said that it was a cognisance offence, for which the provincial government and law enforcing agencies should initiate action against delinquents under LPG Rules 3 and sections 285, 286 of the PPC.
Normally, the law enforcing agencies ignore the illegal business of decanting of LPG in urban areas, which can result in fatal incidents.
The authority pointed out that illegal businessmen and even authorised dealers had been using substandard cylinders, which was in violation of the LPG Production and Distribution Rules regarding specification of cylinders and safety standards. According to the rules, the LPG marketing licensees could only distribute the gas in branded cylinders through their authorised distributors and dealers.
On the directions of the agency, the Home Department directed all the DCOs to take action against dealers involved in illegal decanting of LPG. They had also been directed to intimate the name and address of the LPG agency along with the profile of the LPG marketing company to OGRA for the cancellation of license of the companies.
The Home Department has also issued an inspection performa to DCOs to conduct inspections of all the dealers to collect information regarding ownership profile, place of business, storage positions and safety measures taken at the sites.
It is noteworthy that more than 4,500 outlets of various distributors and dealers of marketing companies are decanting LPG in the city. Out of the total, around 2,500 outlets have also operating without any safety measures in thickly populated areas with the connivance of law enforcing agencies and officials concerned.