Protesting gas bottlers reject delivery orders

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 22, 2016-Gas bottlers did not collect purchase delivery orders (PDOs) from Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) in protest against the government’s decision to ban Himalayan Petrochemicals following an explosion of its HP Gas cylinders in which three people were killed.

The companies moved to disrupt supplies of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) even though it is prohibited by the Essential Goods Control Act 1960.

Mukunda Ghimire, spokesperson for NOC, said none of the gas bottlers collected PDOs to import gas on Tuesday. 

According to NOC, its Birgunj-based office had issued 115 PDOs to the bottlers on Monday. Around 70 percent of the country’s gas imports are routed through the Birgunj customs point. 

Ghimire said there would be no shortage of cooking gas despite the gas bottlers’ noncooperation. According to him, most of the gas bottlers have already collected PDOs for June. NOC is issuing PDOs to import 37,710 tonnes of gas in June.

The explosion that took place at a metal workshop on May 20 has been blamed on leakage due to bad cylinder quality as per the on-the-spot inspection carried out by the police. However, the government’s probe team has given a clean chit to the bottler.

Gas bottlers launched a protest against the government’s move to stop issuing PDOs to Himalayan Petrochemicals, the producer of HP Gas.

They issued a five-day ultimatum last Thursday to pressurize the government to annul its decision. 

Ananda Ram Regmi, spokesperson for the Supply Ministry, said the ministry on Tuesday sent an official letter to the gas bottlers inviting them for talks. 

“We have asked them to bring a formal agreement with the blast victims to the talks scheduled for Wednesday,” he said.

According to the Supply Ministry, HP Gas has agreed to provide compensation to the families of the blast victims. As per the ministry, the gas company has agreed to pay a total of Rs4-4.5 million to the families of the three people who were killed in the cylinder blast. 

“We have requested the District Administration Office, Lalitpur to settle the issue between the families of the deceased and the gas company,” Regmi said. 

Published: 22-06-2016 10:17

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