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Leaking LPG Cylinders: The Father Of Many Devastating Infernos In Manipur, Inefficiency At Bottling Plant Cited As Primary Cause

Consumers get their filled LPG cylinder checked for any leakaga at the godown of a gas agency. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 20: Inefficiency in the functioning of the Gas Bottling Plant of IOC located at Sekmai and lack of proper system in gas bottling among other shortcomings are suspected to be the main reasons behind leakage in gas cylinders and outbreak of fire from such leakages which are being witnessed in the State.

According to a reliable source, the Gas Bottling Plant at Sekmai lacks a proper system of its functioning leading to instances of leakage in Gas cylinders and explosion of from gas cylinders causing major fire incidents in the State.

The Integrated-Weight Correction Unit (ICU), Automatic Valve Testing System (AVTS) and Water Bath of the Gas Bottling Plant have no proper system of functioning.

In accordance to rule, 14.2 kg of gas is to be filled in an empty Gas cylinder. There could be a variation of either 200 gram less or more than the prescribed 14.2 kg. But in case, 15 kg of gas is to be filled than the prescribed 14.2 kg, then the cylinder would be over pressurized and it would lead to major leakage while fitting into the regulator. This may also cause explosion.

To avert such possible mishaps, the overloaded gas cylinders are supposed to be taken into the ICU for removing the excess gas. However, existing ICU of the Gas Bottling Plant at Sekmai has not been functioning properly, the source disclosed.

Moreover, to avoid gas leakage at the time of fitting into the regulator, O-ring and valve made of rubber have to be fitted after refilling and taken for checking inside the AVTS. In case of detecting some defects in the O-ring and the value, then they have been to be replaced. But as the AVTS of the Bottling has not been functioning properly, there has been no possibility of checking the O-ring and the valve.

After every possible checking, all the refilled gas cylinders have to go through the process of passing the test of water bath to checking possible leakage. During the process of water bath, care should to see that water does not enter through the valve. Otherwise, sentiments like sand that could be found in the water may block the valve. But in the Sekmai Bottling Plant, water can easily entered through the valve at the time of water bath, the source alleged.

Leakage of gas from the cylinders taken from the agencies at the time of fitting regulators at home is an indication that the O-ring is defected and the Bottling Plant had not checked it properly, the source pointed out.

All the refilled gas cylinders from the Bottling Plant at Sekmai should be released through the agencies only after every necessary checking. But most of the refilled gas cylinders taken from the agencies are leaked. This shows that the IOC and the Government have not been paying necessary attention to the functioning the Gas Bottling Plant, the source further alleged.

The safety check list of the Gas Bottling Plant at Sekmai is wanting in many ways. The inspection mark accorded by a multi-disciplinary team after checking of the safety list in the Bottling Plant this year was only 46 as against 93 last year and the prescribed norms of 100 marks, the source informed.

However, talking to The Sangai Express, the official in-charge of the Gas Bottling Plant has refuted allegation of defect in the system of the Bottling Plant.

The in-charge asserted that all the refilled gas cylinders are provided to the agencies after thorough checking. In case of any leakage from the refilled gas cylinders, the agencies or the consumers can lodged their complaints with the Sales Office of the IOC located at Imphal. Till date, no such complaints have been received and the inspection mark is recorded normal.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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