3 more gas bottling factories shut down

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 9, 2018-

The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology shut down another three liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plants on Sunday as it intensified its crackdown against companies not meeting safety standards.

Namaste Gas and Om Gas in Dhading district and Jagadamba Gas in Parsa district were ordered to cease operations after they were found refilling gas cylinders without safety caps. They had skipped testing the quality of the cylinders too. 

“The gas companies have not been carrying out dip testing and leakage testing. They have also been repairing old valves and reusing them,” said Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini of the bureau. “We have asked the gas bottlers to present themselves within three days with a clarification.”

The number of gas bottling plants closed down by the bureau for violating safety regulations has reached five in the past few days. Earlier, the bureau shut down Surya Gas and Chandeshwori Gas in Kavrepalanchok district for not obtaining Nepal Standard (NS) certification. 

In November 2016, the bureau enforced the LPG Bottling Plant Operation Standards and directed gas plants to obtain NS certification within three months. Among the 55 LPG bottlers in the country, only four—Manoj Gas, Shreekrishna Gas, Nepal Gas and Saibaba Gas—have received NS certification so far. Meanwhile, 10 bottlers including LL Gas, Metro Gas, Noble Gas, Janaki Gas, Koshi Gas, Shreeram Gas, Baba Gas, Sagarmatha Gas, Maruti Gas and Ugrachandi Gas are in the process of upgrading the safety measures at their bottling plants. 

“We are following up on our inspection to make sure that these gas companies are working to improve their safety measures,” Pudasaini said. 

Since the bureau began moving aggressively to enforce safety regulations following a public outcry after a fire destroyed a gas plant in Birgunj and caused the deaths of three persons, 21 gas companies have applied for NS certification. 

However, 15 gas companies have made no move to comply with government regulations. Pudasaini said the bureau would inspect these plants too this week. 

“If they do not upgrade safety measures and obtain NS certification, we will begin legal proceedings against them. In addition, we are planning to ask Nepal Oil Corporation to punish errant firms by not renewing their operating licences or not issuing purchase delivery orders to import LPG,” Pudasaini said.

Published: 09-01-2018 08:16

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