LPG cylinder dealers playing with fire.

GUJRAT -- The manufacturing and sale of substandard cylinders of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) continue unabated in Gujranwala city where more than 400 illegally established units are involved in the hazardous trade.

With the onset of winter, the federal government has announced a severe shortage of gas this year as a result of which the demand of gas cylinders has soared. Only 14 units across the country have the licence of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for cylinder manufacturing -- seven of these are in Gujranwala. Only three units (all in Gujranwala) have the licence to manufacture the cylinder valves.

Some of the licensed manufacturing units of the cylinders have already been shut down for being unable to compete due to sale of substandard cylinders in Gujranwala. The city's Jinnah Road is known for the sale of such low-quality cylinders which jeopardise the lives of consumers as well as unit workers.

According to a data gleaned by the LPG Cylinder Dealers Association, two incidents of cylinder blast occurs daily in the country whereas 8,000 people have been killed in these incidents during the last 16 years.

More than 400 illegal units thrive in Gujranwala

Hundreds of unapproved manufacturing units are operating in the residential localities of Gujranwala city and these units have not been registered with any government department and also evade the taxes.

Muhammad Jamil, who runs an approved cylinder manufacturing unit, said the weight of an (approved) cylinder should be 15 kilogrammes that could be filled with at least 11.8kg gas whereas the substandard cylinders often weigh three kilogrammes or so and are filled with 12kg gas, which results in blasts.

He said a person dealing in low-quality cylinders as well as the consumer faced high risk and there's an urgent need to ban sale of such substandard cylinders.

Although Ogra is the competent authority to take action against that illegal trade, it has delegated its powers under section 29 of OGRA Ordinance 2002 to deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners to take action against the violators.

'The provincial chief secretaries had been told by Ogra through a letter of June 10, 2021 that the DCs and ACs could use the authority until Feb 24, 2024...

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