The LPG filling stations at General Bus Stand and Shakir Town have been violating the rules and regulations by selling substandard cylinders for public service vehicles and by decanting and refilling the same illegally, it has learnt.

Despite a ban on the use and filling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in vehicles including auto rickshaws, buses, coaches, wagons, motorcycles, scooters since July 15, 2015, there are more than 150 vans in Dera Ghazi Khan that are running on their approved routes with LPG cylinders in presence of the traffic police, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and the district administration.

Another disgusting aspect of the issue is that the district administration has never taken action against the illegality. “LPG is being widely used in vans across the division as it is considered a cheaper source of fuel in comparison with the mileage provided by its counter parts petrol or diesel,” said a van driver Kareem Khan.

He said that every van driver paid Rs2,000 to stand administration on monthly base as bribe and extortion to the traffic police and other personnel. Every month, he added, a big amount was paid to traffic authorities by the stand administration for the illegal purpose.

“As per the rules, installation of LPG cylinder beneath the seats and within the passengers compartment of any vehicle is illegal. But the violation is unchecked here in the city and nobody is present to check it,” another driver Hussain Bakhsh told The Nation.

As District DG Khan is facing gas shortage for more than 18 hours daily and also low pressure, the demand of LPG is high and the markets have been flooded with substandard and poor quality cylinders posing serious threat to the life and property.

About 200 LPG retailers have been decanting, refilling of cylinders across the city especially on the Quaid-i-Azam Road, Chowk Chuttha, Railway Pully, Peer Qatal, Mehboobabad, Chah Bahadarwala Multan Road, Sarwar Wali, Sangum Chowk, Gaddai, Dasti Pull, Model Town, Bhutta Colony, Mastoi Colony, Shaker Town, Norang Shah, Behari Colony, Paigah, Aaliwala, Kot Chutta, Peer Adil, Shah Saddar Din, Kot Chutta, Chotti Zareen and Taunsa.

Raiz Hussain Khosa, a resident, criticised the district administration especially Civil Defence Department, saying that the authorities never taken steps against these violators. As a result, they are free to overcharge LPG consumers by setting up LPG plants in populated areas.

When contacted, District Officer Civil Defence Sikander Ali Bukhari said that his priority would be to save the citizens and take prompt action against the law violators. He said that many legal notices had been issued to violators. He said that soon, the department would launch a drive against them.