Govt team seals Siddhartha Gas

- Harihar Singh Rathaur, Rajesh Khanal, dhading & kathmandu

Feb 25, 2016-

A government team led by Supply Minister Ganesh Man Pun on Wednesday sealed Siddhartha Gas’ bottling plant based in Chalise, Dhading, on charge of misconduct.

The team also seized LPG cylinders of Chalise-based Sugam Gas for its involvement in tampering with the gas containers.

The Pun-headed team included officials from the Supply Department, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology and consumer’s rights activists. Pun said the move was aimed at controlling rampant black-marketeering and artificial shortages. “The government has intensified market monitoring to book wrongdoers,” he said. 

Laxman Shrestha, director at the Department of Supply Management and Consumer Welfare Protection, said the team cross-checked NOC’s Thankot-based depot and three gas plans based in Dhading—Siddhartha, Sugam and HP. “Almost all the gas companies were found not following safety measures,” he said.

Shrestha said the NOC depot was found not maintaining adequate petroleum stock despite having the infrastructure. He said the team has directed the depot to upgrade its storage capacity and make fuel supply efficient.

During the cross-check of Siddhartha Gas’ plant, the team found that 806 of its cylinders, which were ready to be sent to the market, had not undergone hydraulic testing and most of the cylinders were quite old and posed risk to the consumers. 

Besides tampering with the cylinders, Sugam Gas had also not installed the hydraulic system in its plant. As a result, its cylinders were heavier by up to 450 grams compared to standard cylinders, one of the team members said.

Sugam Gas’ proprietor Shiva Ghimire, however, denied charges. “Just one of our cylinder sold under ‘Kamakhya’ brand has different foot ring,” he said.

HP Gas too was found not having the hydraulic system in its plant. “We have summoned the owner at the department by the next week,” said Shrestha.

Published: 25-02-2016 09:26

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