Taking undue advantage of the continued fuel crisis, some LPG companies have taken the liberty to replace foot rings of cylinders belonging to other companies with those of their own. Such random replacements increase the risk of explosion of gas cylinders, warns the Department of Quality Control and Measurement. And the Association of Gas Sellers have lodged a complaint against gas companies at the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Department of Commerce. Granted, when there is a shortage of gas cylinders, customers are more than happy to exchange their empty cylinders for filled ones, regardless of which company it belongs to.
But the risk can be minimised if the job is done expertly. It is also a fact that consumers continue to suffer because they cannot change their cylinders for those of other companies, even when their companies are not able to supply gas when demanded. This restricts competition among gas companies, as each of them has captive customers. Shockingly, the NOC, which is responsible for the import and distribution of petroleum products, neither seems to have any justifiable explanation for its inability to ensure fuel supply for the last three years, nor has it been able to keep a tab on such unscrupulous practices. With the festive season at hand, the demand for LPG will rise. And the shortage should be removed before that.