KATHMANDU: At a time when dozens of reports regarding the safety of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) — popularly known as cooking gas — are gathering dust at the concerned ministries and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), a committee which has been formed with representatives from Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, Department of Commerce and NOC is preparing yet another report regarding the safety of LPG business.
“The committee will soon submit the report with details regarding the safety of cooking gas,” said acting managing director of the corporation Suresh Kumar Agrawal.
However, the report will be futile other than for the concerned authorities to pretend doing something for consumer rights, according to the sources at Nepal Oil Corporation.
“The report is useless,” an official at NOC claimed, adding that the agencies involved in preparing the report this time, are interestingly, those who point a finger at each other while action against bottling plants is yet to be taken.
Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, Department
of Commerce and the corporation have for long been pointing figures at each other regarding the action that needs to be
taken against the erring bottling plants, he claimed.
The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) had about a month back directed the
state oil monopoly to implement safety measures in bottling plants, said joint secretary at the ministry Deepak Subedi. “But, progress regarding the
directive has been limited on paper so far.”
“There are dozens of pitfalls regarding the safety in the functioning of bottling plants,” Subedi said, adding that most of the plants have not yet managed enough water on their premises that is a must.
Besides, the bottling plants have not developed the mechanism for a deep test of LPG cylinders after refilling them and other mandatory provisions, Subedi added.
It has also been revealed that most bottling plants are supplying sub-standard cooking gas cylinders but the state has done nothing against them. Currently, at least two recently prepared reports — one by Public Accounts Committee and another by a high-level committee led by lawmaker Bhim Acharya — are gathering dust.
Besides, other several reports regarding the reforms in the petroleum sector of the country have been lying idle due to the apathy of Nepal Oil Corporation and the government.
Meanwhile, the gas dealers have yet not received the forms to be distributed to the domestic customers. “Merely distributing the forms and cards will not solve the current problem,” the dealers said, asking the corporation, first, to ensure the smooth supply of cooking gas that has been in short supply since couple of months. However, the Nepal Oil Corporation has been claiming that it is supplying cooking gas more than the demand of the market.