Ministry bans HP Gas from importing LPG

- Rajesh Khanal, Kathmandu

Jun 16, 2016-

The Ministry of Supply has decided to instruct Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to ban Himalayan Petrochemicals—bottler of HP Gas—from importing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) following an incident of explosion of the company’s cooking gas cylinder, in which three people were killed.

Leakage as a result of poor cylinder quality has been blamed for the explosion that took place at a metal workshop in Haugaal, Lalitpur, on May 20.

Gokul Prasad Dhital, director general of Department of Supply Management, said a Consumer Protection Council meeting on Wednesday took the decision to halt the issuance of Purchase Delivery Order (PDO) to the company. 

NOC issues PDOs to gas bottlers to import liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from India.

Dhital, however, termed the ban on the company “temporary”. “We will decide whether to allow the company to run its business in future on the basis of the final report of an investigation committee,” said Dhital, who is also a member of the council.

Following the HP Gas accident, the government formed two investigation committees—one under Laxman Shrestha, director of the department, and the other led by Joint-secretary Ananda Ram Regmi.

According Supply Ministry officials, these two committees have also been told to investigate a separate incident involving Sugam Gas cylinder that took place at Samajhdari Marg, Kalimati, on Tuesday. 

Deputy Superintendent of Police Hem Kumar Thapa, chief of Metropolitan Police Circle, Kalimati, said seven people were injured after Sugam Gas cylinder leaked. According to a preliminary investigation, the incident took place due to defective regulator, he said. Kathmandu District Administration Office, five years ago, had taken action against HP Gas’ distributor based in Nayabazaar, Kathmandu, for tampering with gas cylinders.

Shiva Ghimire, president of LP Gas Industry Association and proprietor of Sugam Gas, said the government should not take action before the final report of the investigation committees is out. “The government decision to ban HP Gas will affect a large number of consumers,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Nepal LP Gas Industry Association on Wednesday demanded the government form a high-level probe committee to investigate the incident of gas cylinder explosion in Haugaal, Lalitpur. In a statement, the association said the incident took place due to the negligence of the workshop.

Published: 16-06-2016 08:41

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment