Ogra has given until May 29 to clarify security actions taken in motor vehicles suited with CNG kits

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday requested the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority ( Ogra ) to report the last record about preventive and security precautions in the utilization of CNG kits in vehicles by May 29. When a couple of petitions about the use of substandard CNG kits and cylinders in industrial vehicles and school vans came up for court date before a two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar on Tuesday, the legal adviser for Ogra submitted an announcement in compliance with a previously ordered.

The legal adviser for 1 of the petitioners generated a copy of the mins of a conference conducted by all the stakeholders in the light of an order released on the final court date. The legal professionals and team members of Ogra, the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan ( HDIP ), All Pakistan CNG Association ( APCNGA ) and the petitioners have verified that a conference was convened and a detailed discussion was held to develop the problem viz-a-viz CNG cylinders in numerous industrial and school vans with security precautions.

The counsel for Ogra argued that some points remained untouched in the 1st conference and sought 1 month to hold another conference with all the stakeholders. The lawyers for the petitioner also endorsed the ask of the legal adviser representing Ogra. The bench fixed the issue on May 29 and directed the Ogra legal representative to document the last mins of the conference.

At the outset of the court date, the bench was informed that the conference of all the stakeholders was held on April 25 and proposed standard operating procedures ( SOPs ), adding that it included long- and temporary measures to curb accidents in CNG kit-fitted vehicles and to ensure the safety of the public.

It was also proposed in the meeting that the education divisions of all the provinces direct the schools not to allow such motor vehicles which had no valid fitness certificate; HDIP and APCNGA must improve the amount of cylinder testing labs, and Ogra should encourage all the CNG stations to develop workshops on the premises of the filling stations.

Advocates Muzammil Mumtaz, Tariq Mansoor and others had shifted the SHC and contended that a rickshaw driver was forced to commit suicide as cash was extorted from him a minimum of thrice and alleged that it was a routine in Karachi that traffic police were engaged in demanding bribes from rickshaw drivers and motorbike riders on primary roads, and on refusal they imposed undue fines on them.

The petitioners managed that substandard CNG cylinders were being utilized in public transport as well as in school vans despite the directions of the court and no action was being taken against such motor vehicles. Impleading the house secretary, transport secretary, DIG traffic, Ogra and others as respondents, they asked the court to direct the respondents to take action against traffic police engaged in extorting bribes and to restrain public transport vehicles and school vans from using substandard CNG cylinders and overloading their motor vehicles.

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