Authorities asked to take action against substandard bottlers

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the authorities concerned to take stern action against 16 gas bottling plants failing to meet specified standards.

The PAC’s sub-committee formed under the coordination of Dhan Raj Gurung to study issues related to import, supply, stock and transportation of petroleum products of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has directed authorities concerned to implement the directives. The committee meeting held on Monday took a decision to this effect.

As per the study, bottling plants—Siddhartha and HP in Dhading, Manoj, Koshi, Tara, Lumbini and Siddhartha in Bhairahawa, Manakamana, Bheri, Chandeshori, Sagarmatha, Surya, Everest, Himalayan and HP in Gaidakot and Rajdhani—were found not meeting the specified standards. The study said these plants do not have safety specifications such as water ponds, bullet, fire fighting equipments and standards, among others. Apart from safety specifications, some of the plants have been set up at human settlement. The study also pointed out that some companies are involved in tampering with gas cylinders.

Manakamana has been found involved in changing neck- and foot-rings of other gas companies’ cylinders, while Chandeshori is attached to Surya’s premises.

As per safety specifications, gas bottling plants need water ponds with 450,000 liters water for hydrostatic test. Similarly, distance between two bottling plants has to be at least 5 km.