Owners of public vehicles with CNG cylinders that are older than five years will be fined. This was decided by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in a meeting on Tuesday.
The decision comes after an increase in the number of accidents where subpar CNG kits were either responsible for or considerably increased the damages and loss of human lives.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Amir Ali Ahmed directed his subordinates to initiate an “intense” public awareness campaign on passenger safety in public transport. The DC said although it is impractical for the administration to check all vehicles on road, “we are still going to initiate this exercise for people’s safety”.
The meting was attended by officials of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline limited, Secretary Transport Authority Islamabad, CNG Association Islamabad, and Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP).
The first meeting on the issue was held on July 12, after a road accident in Koral where 15 passengers died after one of the CNG cylinders installed in the van exploded. The meeting had decided to devise a plan to supervise installation of CNG kits in all designated CNG stations and a survey was also initiated in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries and HDIP to identify sites where CNG kits are installed.
In the last five months, more than 50 people were killed in different areas of the country due to explosion of CNG cylinders in public transport. Most recently, nine people were killed when a CNG cylinder of a passenger van exploded in an accident on Grand Trunk Road.
A petition challenging the use of multiple CNG cylinders in public cylinder is also pending with the Islamabad High Court for the past two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2011.
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