Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 27:
Turning a blind eye to consumer safety, LPG companies continue to deliver gas in expired cylinders in Odisha.
Most consumers are not aware about the criterion to find out the cylinder status and LPG companies do not consider it part of their job to create awareness on the issue.
Gas cylinders come with an expiry date. It is marked on the cylinders with codes such as: A15, B16, C17 etc.
While the number indicates the expiry year, the alphabets A, B and C indicate the validity of the cylinder in a particular quarter. A represents January till March, B indicates April till June, C indicates July till September and D indicates October till December. For example: An A15 mark on a cylinder means the cylinder should not be used beyond March 2015.
The companies, however, continue to release such cylinders to the market. Even though gas cylinder bursts are common all over the country, the incidents are never investigated from the expired cylinder point of view.
We spoke to many families to check if they are aware about the cylinder expiry date and if they check it before purchasing a cylinder and were shocked to find that not even a single family knew anything about an expiry date in an LPG cylinder.
“I don’t know anything about this. I trust the gas companies. They send me the cylinder and I directly connect it to the burner,” said Sunita Nayak, a housewife from Bhubaneswar’s Chandrasekharpur area. Other consumers we spoke to also had very similar views.
Weakened and expired cylinders can cause gas leak and explosion while being transported which can cause significant damage to life and property. The gas companies were, however, evasive when we raised this issue with them.
“We do check all the cylinders before sending them to the market. If any cylinder is found faulty, it is repaired and sent to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for quality testing. It is sent to consumers only after getting a go-ahead from BIS. If a cylinder is found faulty for the second time, we destroy that. We are also holding awareness camps to educate people on verifying the cylinder expiry date,” said a senior official of Indian Oil Corporation.
The President of State LPG Gas Association Biswanath Mukherjee blamed it on the companies.
“Checking the expiry and quality of cylinders is the job of gas companies. If there is anything wrong, it is their problem and they need to be held responsible,” he said.