HYDERABAD: Representatives of the All Hyderabad LPG Distributors Association, Sindh, have appealed to the Sindh government and district administration to allow them to resume their business.

Speaking at a news conference in the local press club on Thursday, Nawab Khan and Mohammad Habib Qureshi, the president and general secretary of the association, respectively, along with other office-bearers said that civil administration had closed over 150 LPG cylinder filling shops in the city after the May 30 incident in Paretabad. They said that the people dependent on this business for their livelihood were without any earning.

Domestic consumers were also facing serious issues due to unavailability of LPG amid sui gas loadshedding because they had already switched to LPG, they pointed out. People were compelled to get expensive cooked food from eateries.

They acknowledged that the May 30 Paretabad cylinder blast and fire had already left 27 people, most of them children, dead and many other injured.

They, however, argued that the LPG shop where the blast had occurred was located in a densely populated area and didn’t have required safety equipment. It was also functioning illegally, they said, and added that the shop owner was not a member of their association.

They said that the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had not been granting new gas connections for the last 26 months with the result that a large population was dependent on LPG.

The association leaders said they recently met the district administration officials and assured them that they would follow all required safety protocols if allowed to resume their business. They said that they also promised to follow Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) protocols and would sell company-filled cylinders instead of opting for decanting.

They said that they also assured the administration that they would follow all its standard operating procedures (SOPs) as well as those of the Sindh government. Therefore, they should be allowed to resume their business as they had to earn their livelihood, the leaders.

They regretted that despite their assurances and cooperation, the were not being allowed to reopen their shops and even cottage industries had been closed.

They urged the Sindh government and district administration to give a sympathetic consideration to their appeal. They said they would not support any illegal LPG business. They also appealed to the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) to play its role in getting their legal business resumed.

Compensation urged

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MNA from Hyderabad Syed Wasim Hussain has urged the prime minister to announce suitable compensation for the Paretabad tragedy victims and also visit Hyderabad.

Mr Wasim said he had sent a written request to the PM. He told Dawn on Thursday that he had called for compensation for the families of the deceased and injured of the May 30 cylinder blast and fire. Most of the victims came from poor families, he said.

He stated that Rs5m each should be granted as compensation for each deceased and Rs2.5m for each of the injured. He said that in his earlier meeting with the PM, the latter had promised to visit the bereaved families.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2024

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