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CNG dealers’ bodies told to submit proposals to implement safety laws for cylinders and kits

By Jamal Khurshid
December 09, 2020

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the federal and provincial CNG dealers’ associations to come up with a proper proposal for signing the memorandum of understanding between the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) and the Sindh government for effective implementation of laws pertaining to the use of CNG kits and cylinders.

The direction came during a hearing of petitions of Muzammil Mumtaz Meo and Tariq Mansoor, who sought court directives against the use of CNG kits and cylinders in public transport and school vans, and action against police officials for demanding a bribe from a rickshaw driver who died after setting himself on fire in protest at a traffic police office.

A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, had earlier directed the HDIP, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), the transport secretary and other stakeholders to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) with regard to testing the fitness and clearance of CNG kits and cylinders being used in public and private vehicles.

The court observed that relevant rules are in field but they are not being implemented in letter and spirit. It said the HDIP has been conferred with the power for testing and certification/verification and it should be made more functional to deal with matters of CNG cylinders with due diligence.

The director general of the department of explosives, Abdul Ali Khan, submitted that approval for workshops for the installation of CNG kits was granted by the DG explosives, while the responsibility to train the manpower and certification of cylinders was vested in the HDIP.

He said the MOU had been executed between the HDIP and CNG associations in Punjab, while the same was under process in KPK, but no such MOU had been signed between the CNG associations and the HDIP in Sindh.

The court directed federal and provincial CNG associations to come up with a proper proposal for signing the memorandum of understanding between the HDIP and the Sindh government for effective implementation of laws pertaining to the use of CNG kits and cylinders.

The provincial law officer submitted that the task force had been constituted by the government to chalk out a strategy for strict implementation of the Supreme Court directions and relevant laws on the use of CNG kits in all kinds of intercity public service vehicles and all kinds of school/colleges transportation, which were plying for pick and drop of students.

He said the task force had been assigned duties to prepare ways and means with regard to the use of CNG as fuel in intra-city transport and ensure a ban imposed by the Sindh government/Ogra.

The task force will also submit a proposal/legislation policy in consultation for further action. The law officer sought time to file a progress report of the task force with regard to the TORs assigned to them for proper implementation. The court directed the law officer to file the progress report of the task force by December 24 and issued a notice to the regional incharge of the HDIP to appear at the next hearing.