ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: To check CNG-related accidents, the private sector has set up 137 kit and cylinder testing workshops including 14 in the twin cities which will be operational from next week.

Though devised by CNG sector the new system will have a centralised data base of all the vehicles being tested and certified at these workshops, which will be shared with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, (Ogra), Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan and the Department of Explosives.

A meeting of Ministerial CNG Safety Task Force was informed on Wednesday that All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) has sent a list of workshops to Ogra.

The task force was informed that training sessions by expert engineers for CNG station personnel have been completed by the HDIP in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta regional offices.

“APCNGA has provided computerised monitoring system and equipment to Ogra and HDIP to maintain the record of all vehicles getting fitness validation from these workshops,” Ghiyas Paracha, chairman APCNGA told the meeting.

The task force, chaired by petroleum of ministry’s joint secretary (Admn) Hamid Asghar Khan, was told that APCNGA had established model 137 workshops in 25 cities across the country, including 17 in the Potohar region which ranges from Jhelum to Attock, 17 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 13 in Sindh, two in Balochistan and the rest in central and southern Punjab.

The CNG sector has proposed a fee of Rs1,000 for complete check-up of CNG kit and the fittings in a vehicle. However, members of the Task Force stopped short of deciding the amount.

Ogra has suggested that for commercial passenger vehicles, only two CNG cylinders should be allowed in Light Transport Vehicles (LTV) and a maximum of four cylinders in Heavy Transport Vehicles (HTV) and only one CNG cylinders in private vehicles.

Whereas the criteria prepared by the HDIP for vehicular monitoring and their recommendations regarding placement of CNG cylinders in public service and private vehicles would be shared with stakeholders including Ogra and APCNGA in the next meeting.The Task Force authorised HDIP to finalise location/placement of CNG cylinders in public service vehicles after carrying out technical study.

Talking to Dawn, APCNGA Chairman Ghiyas Paracha said trained personnel would carry out complete checking of CNG fittings in vehicles as per the international standards.

“We all want safe CNG industry but the vehicle owners had never been part of any regulatory regime but now they have been covered too,” he added.

Meanwhile, an official of Ogra said that establishment of model CNG workshops was the first step towards streamlining the whole CNG industry including the vehicles.

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