Kathmandu, May 24
National Consumer Forum (NCF) has written to the Supply Minister Ganesh Man Pun urging strict regulation in manufacturing of cooking gas cylinders and has sought action against unscrupulous traders who are not abiding by the set standards and putting the lives of general public at risk.
In a letter addressed to the minister dated today, a copy of which was obtained by The Himalayan Times, the forum has drawn the attention of the minister to the explosion of a gas cylinder at 12:30pm in Haugal Tole of Lalitpur district on May 20. Two people were killed in the incident.
As the HP branded gas cylinder of Himalayan Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd — which was manufactured by APL Company — had exploded abnormally, the NCF suspected anomalies in manufacturing of the cylinder. Consequently, the forum, on May 22, had written to the Metropolitan Police Office, Kathmandu, Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and the Department of Supply Management (DoSM) to investigate the matter and bring the guilty to the books.
Acting on the letter, the DoSM team had inspected the remains of the exploded cylinder that had been kept in the Jawalakhel Police Station. During the course of investigation, the team found that the thickness of the metal plate of the cylinder was only 1.83mm, against the minimum Nepali standard of 2.9mm.
“This clearly demonstrates traders have been cutting corners, not only flouting the set rules but also putting the lives of the general public at risk,” says the NCF letter. “Therefore, we request the Ministry of Supplies to stringently check the quality of cylinders circulated in the market and punish those found disobeying the rules.”
The forum has also asked the ministry to strongly advocate for safety in manufacturing of gas cylinders, especially as more and more people are using it for cooking purposes.
A version of this article appears in print on May 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.