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Heedless nation


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THIS is a country where putting in place and getting the public to adopt even the most obvious of safety measures often presents formidable challenges. Yet some hazards pose such a serious risk to the public that it is imperative that the state exert every possible effort to develop safety mechanisms and inspection systems, ensuring that they are adhered to. It should also initiate a large-scale awareness campaign about such dangers. As such, the explosion of a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder in Lahore’s Defence Housing Authority on Wednesday afternoon should be taken as a dire warning. Reportedly, the cylinder was lying in the kitchen of an eatery, and it exploded with such force that nearly three dozen people were injured and no fragment of the container could be found.

While some laws regarding safety mechanisms are in place, there is hardly any oversight in terms of standards regarding pressurised LPG cylinders, even though they are very commonly used across the country for heating and domestic purposes. Compressed natural gas cylinders, too, have become a ubiquitous feature in motor vehicles, but is each and every filling station checked for safety? There have been some instances where CNG kits are said to have been the reason behind fires. The developed world has adopted extremely stringent conditions under which these, and LNG cylinders can be used. The manufacture and maintenance of the cylinders themselves involve exhaustive and extreme tests, a far cry from the footpath industry that their repair and filling has become in Pakistan. Anything containing pressurised, flammable gas must be kept away from heat and fire; but LPG cylinders next to an open barbecue are a common sight. While we can argue that the state must do its bit, what will it take to make people concerned for their own safety?

Comments (6) Closed

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jan 26, 2013 03:45pm
"Dawn" must be congratulated for drawing timely attention towards the dangerous and potentially lethal explosion of the "liquefied petroleum gas cylinders" in Lahore recently. But really this is only a tip of the iceberg. Many things are happening in the country which need immediate fixing, the frequent drone attacks in the North of Pakistan in which many innocent lives are lost, being one of them! Are the governments and the elected Assemblies doing anything to improve matters and help Pakistanis?
Agha Ata (USA) Jan 26, 2013 03:48pm
Heedless nations soon become headless nations!
Husain Jan Jan 26, 2013 04:23am
Safety rules are there in place but are seldom overseen by those responsible for it and are thus not implemented. Baldia town factory blaze is a blatant example of non-implementation of any rule, but none is being practically done to avert such incidents in future except for lot of lip service which is not going to help. Neither the govt deptts nor the concerned persons care a bit .
sarfaraz Jan 26, 2013 02:53am
Looks like DAWN has changed policy to discourage readers/writers and it has come to stay, perhapes, since news and columns - even - editorials are repeated besides breaking news. Many views/letters on genuine subjects are ignored. Biased ? Ego ? Even I know it as a reader. Previously an acknowledgement was mailed - new no more. This is to communicate my opinion - specially for those handling letters.
Syed Ahmed Jan 25, 2013 04:14pm
Sad indeed. Apathetic and heartless people will never learn a lesson from others mistakes.
ali Jan 25, 2013 05:36pm
u just find lahore , what about sindh editor sahiba