KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday was moved to rule against the installation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cylinder and kits and its use in public transport vehicles as a potential threat to the life of commuters.
The petitioner, United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (an NGO), citing the speficic accidents across the country from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Sindh maintained that owners of public transport in order to maximise their profits are installing substandard or low quality cylinders in their vehicles. Since these vehicles, in most cases, are poorly maintained, the gas system is susceptible to leakages, the petitioner maintained referring to Matiari incident claiming 11 lives. It also referred to the Vehari incident in which 17 passengers of a wagon were killed as gas cylinder leaked after an accident.
Citing the ministries of petroleum and natural resources, communication, law, science and technology, Ogra chairman and PSCQA chairman as respondents, petitioner NGO maintains that under Article 3,4,8 and 25 of the Constitution all the respondents are bound to ensure safety and security of citizens of Pakistan who are exposed to dangers by public transport owners/operatives.
Seeking an interim order, the petitioner prayed to court to direct the Ogra and other authorities to stop filling of cylinders other than allowed by Ogra to avoid fatal accidents which claimed over a hundred lives in just two previous months. The petition has been fixed for hearing on Dec 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2011.