MoS invites gas bottlers for dialogue

Kathmandu, June 21

The Ministry of Supply (MoS) today agreed to hold dialogue with the agitating gas bottlers on the condition that Himalayan Petrochemicals provides compensation to the family members of the three people who were killed due to an explosion of cooking gas cylinder on May 20.

The latest development has come at a time when the gas bottlers have stopped the supply of cooking fuel. Nepal LP Gas Industry Association (NLPGIA) — the umbrella association of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottlers in the country — has been protesting against the government’s move to suspend the product delivery order (PDO) of Himalayan Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd, the bottler of HP Gas, after the fatal blast of gas cylinder in Haugal of Lalitpur sub-metropolitan city last month.

The government suspended the PDO of Himalayan Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd last week. Immediately after the suspension of the PDO, NLPGIA had submitted a memorandum to the MoS threatening to halt the supply of cooking gas and given a five-day ultimatum to revert its decision.

As the government did not heed to their threat, the NLPGIA announced that they have halted the supply of cooking gas from today.

The MoS today wrote to NLPGIA inviting them to sit for talks, on the condition that Himalayan Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd provides compensation to the kin of the victims.

Anandaram Regmi, spokesperson for the MoS, informed that the ministry has urged Himalayan Petrochemicals Pvt Ltd through NLPGIA to settle the issue of compensation to the victims’ family at the earliest.

The government has commissioned investigation into the fatal blast of the gas cylinder. The initial report has identified need to investigate further regarding the thickness of the metal of the cylinder before any conclusion can be reached on how and why the cylinder exploded.

The initial report has, however, stated that the cylinder was produced some one-and-a-half years back and the explosion did not occur due to lack of hydrostatic test.