ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Monday asked the provincial governments, district administrations, regional transport authorities and operators of fuelling stations to ensure that vehicles without fitness certificates do not get compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
In a statement, the regulator also said it had put a ban on CNG and LPG cylinders inside the passenger compartments of public sector vehicles (PSVs) in 2019 and ordered their removal.
The fresh Ogra directive came following a road accident in Gujranwala in which a truck rammed into a minibus on a highway on Sunday. The accident caused a fire that erupted from a gas leak and a short-circuit on board the minibus, killing 10 passengers.
Directive comes following loss of lives in Gujranwala accident
The regulator had in July 2019 issued an order regarding “ban on CNG/LPG cylinders inside the passengers’ compartments of PSVs and advised the provincial transport authorities to rigorously enforce its law and ensure removal of the CNG cylinders from inside PSVs running on roads”. The provincial authorities had also been asked to cancel route permits if such vehicles were found on roads in violation of the said order.
“However, the said letter was challenged in various courts and issue is still sub judice in various courts,” the Ogra statement said.
It added that in order to avoid accidents in vehicles running on roads, Ogra was taking all necessary measures in coordination with the local governments, explosives department and other relevant departments to enforce safety standards by conducting rigorous safety inspections through designated third-party inspectors, to the extent of CNG stations, to ensure protection of the public at large.
Also, the Ogra CNG department had time and again informed the chief secretaries as well as issued instructions to the CNG associations regarding compliance with the CNG Rules 1992 and Standard Code of Practice to avoid accidents and loss of lives.
The regulator asked the relevant authorities both at the federal and provincial levels to ensure compliance with the CNG refuelling procedure while filling the vehicles and only those vehicles be refuelled which meet the requirements of CNG Rules 1992. Under the rules, CNG cylinders, kits and fittings should be thoroughly checked, inspected and retested and clearly stamped and marked by the agency concerned about fitness.
It also said that the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan, a subordinate agency of the Petroleum Division, or its authorised inspectors should make sure that CNG cylinders in use or being refuelled were of approved standard, brand and within periodic hydro-test life.
These inspectors and fuelling stations should ensure that there are no obvious leaks in the vehicle’s CNG system or equipment and that all types of gauges are calibrated and working accurately and the vehicle is not using multiple fuels i.e. CNG and LPG at the same time and should possess valid fitness certificates from the Regional Transport Authority, Ogra said.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2021