ISLAMABAD:The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday issued a notification imposing a ban on the usage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in public transport.

The declaration came after the approval of the federal government, the Ogra officials said adding that the usage of LPG could be extremely dangerous.

Official documents disclosed that the government has approved changes in LPG Rules 2002 and with effect to this change in the rules, the regulator has issued notification under which filling and use of LPG in the PSVs has been banned.

Ogra terming the usage of LPG as illegal said that buses, coaches, wagons, auto rickshaws and motor cycles would be restricted in using it as means of fuel.

In Pakistan, LPG is being widely used in auto rickshaws as it is considered a cheaper source of fuel in comparison with the mileage provided by its counterparts petrol or diesel.

Ogra also said that the violators of this ban would face a severe inquiry.

Meanwhile, rejecting the imposition of ban on use and filling of LPG in PSVs, Chairman LPG Distributor Association Irfan Khokar told Dawn.com that no other country has restricted the use of LPG except Pakistan.

“Ogra cannot stop the masses from using LPG as millions of rickshaws run with this cheap fuel," he said.

Khokar said 300 tons of LPG was being used on daily basis only in Karachi and 600 tons in Lahore. He threatened to stage a sit-in protest in front of the Ogra head office if the regulatory authority failed to lift the ban.

Trader dies in LPG shop explosion

LPG filling stations had been subject to fatal accidents in the past. There had been several cases of explosion of LPG cylinders.

As the country is facing up to one billion cubic feet of gas shortage daily, majority of citizens are running for LPG but due to high demand the markets are flooded with substandard and poor quality cylinders posing serious threat to life and property in case of any mishandling.

While the residents of urban areas have never faced such a prolonged low gas pressure, the usage of LPG is a relatively new phenomenon for most of them and one can see that most of the shops which sell heaters and other gas and electricity appliances are displaying various kinds of LPG cylinders prominently.

It is the price competition or lack of awareness among the consumers but due to the apathy of authorities concerned the sellers and the manufacturers are dealing in potential explosive devices.

Incidentally, the whole chain engaged in selling LPG is worried about the massive sale of substandard cylinders and blame the Ogra for failing to do anything in this regard.

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