May 26, 2024, 2:28 am

Sole CNG retesting centre for 16 districts in north

  • Update Time : Tuesday, April 30, 2024
  • 26 Time View
Photo: Collected

• Random use of untested cylinders posing explosion risk
• Many traders carrying business year on year by only trade license
• Awareness is a must

Ashraful Islam Joy & Sirajul Islam Shishir:
The incident of explosion occurs almost every day at some part of the country due to use of expired, substandard and untested gas cylinders at cars or homes that claiming many lives. Sometimes, many are forced to suffer crippling life after burn injuries.
Like other parts of the country, expired, substandard and untested gas cylinders are being used at homes and cars in different places of the northern region including Sirajganj, Bogura, Pabna and Natore district sans any resistance by the authorities concerned.
Those risky cylinders are also being sold and supplied to everywhere indiscriminately after conversion that posing serious risk of fatal accidents. Even, many traders have been carrying business for year on year by only trade license. But, there is no one to see the matter, locals said. Experts and relevant people said, use of cylinder gas has now become a matter of panic due to extreme apathy of the concerned Explosive Department, lack of proper supervision by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and various limitation of the Police Department and unawareness of the users.
The use of gas on different vehicles was started in 2000 with the aim to reduce fuel cost and environment pollution. Similarly the use of Liquefied petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking at different homes and restaurants (LPG) was started in 2005.
In a short span of time, the number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-driven-transports increases largely in the northern region like everywhere of the country due to cheaper cost than fuel oil.
On the other hand, the use of LPG cylinder for cooking increases at homes and different other sectors creating high demand in markets. But it’s a very painful matter that, almost 85 percent of the CNG cylinders are being used without retest, though there is a provision of retesting each cylinder after each five years. Besides, there is directive to the LPG refilling stations for testing the cylinders’ standard every time of refilling. But, the directives are not being followed properly by anyone concerned. Untested CNG cylinder and below standard LPG cylinders are being used respectively at cars and homes year on year without any hindrance of the authorities concerned that posing serious risk. Not only that, it’s another matter of wondering that, there is only one CNG retesting centre for the users of 16 districts of two divisions in the northern region, which name is TMSS CNG Refueling and Gasoline Station that located at Shajahanpur near to Majhira Cantonment of Bogura district beside Dhaka-Rangpur Highway. Without it, there is no more CNG retesting centre for the whole northern region. As a result, owners and workers, who use CNG on their transports don’t show interest to retest their cylinders in time for their safety. Most vulnerable and rusty cylinders are used in vulnerable condition without retest.
According to the data of regulatory body RPGCL and BRTA, over 7.5 lakh CNG-run-vehicles ply on different roads and highways in the country. Of them, highest number of vehicles plays on different roads and highways in 16 districts of the northern region including Sirajganj, Bogura, Pabna and Natore district. Due to use of substandard and untested CNG cylinders, people of the region experience frequent accidents caused by cylinder explosions. Seeking anonymity, an owner of CNG refilling station in Bogura told ‘The Daily Sky’ that, “We don’t have capability to check the fitness of cylinders during refilling the gas. Besides, there is no sufficient cylinder retesting centers in the region. Consequently, most CNG users don’t pay attention in this regard.”
Fire Service and Civil Defense sources said, the incident of cylinder explosion at homes and cars has now become a regular phenomenon. Many people sustain burn injuries from the blasts, while many leave their lives.
On the other hand, below standard and older LPG cylinders are being sold from different unauthorized shops in the district and upazila town on the top of nose of the authorities concerned. Many traders have been carrying their business for long with mere trade license taken from municipality or local union Parishad. Due to lack of monitoring by the authorities concerned, many tea stall and grocery shop owners are also selling gas cylinders without legal permission of the authorities. Many renowned traders don’t have license of Explosion Department and even Environment Department. They don’t have safety measures, though they put and preserve huge quantity of cylinders here and there of the shops, in front of shops and even roadsides. This is why, locals feel insecurity for every time.
While talking, Farid Uddin Ahmed, Explosive Inspector of Rajshahi divisional office under Explosion Department told that, “We are facing manpower crisis that hampers normal activities of our office. I can’t handle routine works properly for want of necessary manpower. I am solo officer for the two divisions-Rajshahi and Rangpur that contained 16 districts. For this reason, observing all duties is very difficult for me. However, I try to monitor field levels regularly to ensure safety for all.”
“In this limitation of the government, I think, people should be more aware before using the gas cylinders,” he added.

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