KECH: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has now placed an outright ban on the use of CNG and LPG in all public transport vehicles, including school vans. The measure has been taken for the purpose of reducing risk to public life and property in the wake of several horrifying accidents involving CNG-run vehicles in recent years — the consequence of a lack of safety standards and procedures. Many vehicles caught fire due to which many lives have been lost, including those of children. In June, a vehicle caught fire due to a cylinder explosion in Ziarat in which three people died. In May, five passengers had been killed, including two children, while several others critically injured in another cylinder explosion in a van in Kashmore. Such horrifying accidents often occur. Given all these deaths, it is not surprising that the government now wants to ban the use CNG and LPG altogether. Not too long ago, the Pakistan government promoted CNG as a locally produced, environmentally friendly alternative to petrol and diesel. The cheaper cost quickly made them popular among consumers. Despite the price hikes, CNG and LPG remain a more economical option for a large section of the population. Instead of resorting to an outright ban — which is unlikely to be successful in the long run — perhaps the government should consider addressing this aspect.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2019.