The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) has warned 31 gas bottling companies that they face being shut down if they delay obtaining Nepal Standard (NS) certification.
The NS mark was made mandatory for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plants following a massive fire at Super Gas Factory in Sukhasaina, Parsa on December 20 that has been blamed on carelessness.
Following the incident in which three persons were killed, the NBSM ordered all LPG plants to upgrade their safety measures within two months.
The bureau said it had written to the 31 LPG companies that have been defying the regulator’s directives. “We have told the gas bottlers to boost safety measures and obtain the NS mark or we will shut them down,” said Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini.
There are 55 gas bottling plants operating in the country. Among them, seven have received NS certification.
Pudasaini said that 31 plants had applied for certification, and the bureau had inspected the facilities of 14 of them. However, they have made no move to implement the regulator’s directives. They are Sagarmatha, Chandeshwori, Surya, Shreeram, Trishul, Siddhanath, Namaste, Jagadamba, Ambar, Narayani unit of Nepal Gas, Satyanarayan, Om, Bhanu and Nobel.
The remaining 17 plants have not even bothered to call the NBSM for an inspection visit. They are Ugrachandi, Prima, Sahara, Everest, Sugam, Grihalaxmi, Shakti, Narayani, Lumbini, Bheri, Pathivara, Leobara, Parajuli, Kankai, Mechi, Super and Royal Gas. The regulator inspects the gas factory within two weeks of receiving the application for the NS mark.
Pudasaini said that gas bottlers had not installed advanced equipment used for compact valve testing and hydraulic testing. “These two testing mechanisms ensure the safety of LPG cylinders to a larger extent,” he said.
As per the NBSM directive, gas bottling plants must hire adequate technical human resources and follow safety measures to handle emergency situations on their premises. The plants should also have adequate space to refill and store gas cylinders.
The NBSM has also directed gas bottling plants to examine their LPG cylinders on a regular basis and check the thickness of the cylinder wall, sludge deposit, valve safety and safety caps. LPG bottlers are required to conduct hydraulic and leakage tests before they deliver filled cylinders to their dealers.
From The Kathmandu Post