RAWALPINDI-The administration has failed to check and stop the illegal business of liquefied petroleum gas in the district as a large number of gas refilling shops are not following safety measures and putting the lives of the citizens at risk.

Decanting LPG from one cylinder to another for distribution is a peril-ridden source of income, but the sellers are willing to take the risk in several Rawalpindi city and rural areas of the district.  Several LPG decanting outlets are operating in the town in the absence of standard safety measures, putting the lives of citizens at risk.

The LPG dealers are charging the consumers exorbitant prices up to Rs180 per kilogram while the official price of the LPG is Rs120 per kilogram which is not available in any part of the city. A number of such gas shops in congested areas like Raja Bazaar, Committee Chowk, People’s Colony, Tench Bhatta, Dhoke Seydian, Peerwadhai, Adiyala, Asghar Mall, Saidpur and other areas are operating without getting a license and adopting precautionary measures.

According to the rules, LPG outlets have to follow various safety procedures but the rules are openly being violated in the city. LPG decanting from one cylinder to another using electric motors is prohibited but, the practice is continuing due to absence of strict monitoring by the authorities concerned. A LPG sale point is only allowed to sell the gas in form of cylinders, but the owners of LPG outlets are openly decanting the gas illegally, making it a dangerous trade. This not only risks lives but also the property of the people.

An official said that raids were being conducted to enforce the official price of LPG. He said that as many as 25 dealers in different areas including Adiala, Asghar Mall, Saidpur and Khayaban-e-Sir Syed had been issued notices and also imposed fines during January.

During the last two months, the district police also clamped down on several shops, arrested 23 people and seized equipment, but numerous LPG operators particularly in congested areas continue dispensing gas in substandard cylinders.