ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday ordered payment of compensation to the people affected by the LPG bowser accident which occurred in Lahore on May 5 this year.

A blast at a petrol pump at Shahdara Morr followed by a massive fire due to LPG leakage from an overturned tanker had reportedly left a person dead and 10 others injured, besides burning about 200 vehicles.

An Ogra spokesperson said in press note that the exact loss of lives and property was officially not known to the regulator despite five reminders sent to the Punjab chief secretary to provide details of losses caused by the tragic incident. He said the last reminder was issued on July 2.

In the absence of such details, he said, the regulator imposed fine on the companies involved in LPG bowser accident and directed them to pay compensation to the people who lost their lives, property and vehicles and suffered injuries in the unfortunate incident.

Ogra yet to receive details of losses from Punjab chief secretary

The accident was caused after an LPG tanker overturned at Shahdara Morr near a petrol pump, resulting in a massive gas leakage from its tank. As the leaking gas accumulated in a huge quantity at the petrol pump, which was also selling CNG, a fire erupted, followed by a blast, the impact of which was reportedly so intense that 200 vehicles were burnt.

Initial reports suggested the affected vehicles included four buses, six coasters, nine cars, 15 rickshaws, 80 motorcycle rickshaws, three trucks and 70 bikes.

The spokesman said that Ogra in its regulatory meeting considered the fact-finding report submitted by the LPG department and directed M/s Rana and Company, M/s Engro Vopk Terminal Ltd and M/s Havelet Gas Ltd to pay compensation (on equal basis) to the affected parties under Rule 27(2) of LPG (Production and Distribution) Rules, 2001.

Ogra ordered payment of Rs1m compensation against each deceased person, Rs500,000 each to injured person, Rs100,000 for each rickshaw or qingqi and Rs50,000 per destroyed motorbike or any other damage to be determined or informed by the provincial authorities.

The authority also approved a penalty of Rs500,000 on each of these companies under Rule 29 of the LPG Rules, 2001, upon violation of their licence conditions, and LPG (Production and Distribution) Rules, 2001. This is the maximum penalty according to Rule 29 of LPG Rules, 2001.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020