RAWALPINDI - Decanting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) ‘shifting from one cylinder to another’ is illegal but with the shortage of gas and CNG, it is going on here unabated.

Due to unavailability of gas and low gas pressure, LPG cylinders  are in high demand, both domestically and commercially. Resultantly illegal LPG refilling shops have mushroomed in every nook and corner of the city.

Illegal outlets are found in the following areas Tench Bhatta, Peoples Colony, Dhoke Syedian, Raja Bazaar, Committee Chowk, Bunni, Rehmandabad, Sadiqabad, Dhoke Hussu, Chungi No 22, Dhari, Lalkurti and many other areas.

The most dangerous aspect of decanting is that it has the potential to ignite and the resulting explosion can harm people, said a citizen.

Although that has not deterred illegal commercial distributors  who have set up their shops in residential areas, which puts the life of citizens at risk and also challenges the writ of the local administration.

There were a large number of rickshaws, taxis and commercial   Suzuki vans which were using CNG in the past. With shortage of CNG, many rickshaw, Taxi and Suzuki Van owners, have converted to LPG, considering LPG more efficient and economical as well as easily available.

Amjad Iqbal talking to this agency said that inferior LPG cylinders are dangerous but the authorities concerned have completely ignored the issue.

He said that the illegal cylinder producers use light gauge metal sheet and other poor quality material to cut production costs and sell LPG cylinders at cheaper rates. Citizens use these cylinders without knowing that the cylinders are faulty and have the potential to explode.

Selling gas illegally is strictly prohibited and according to the rules only auto re-fuelling stations are allowed to sell LPG to automotives, but the practice is not being checked.

According to the rules, LPG outlets have to follow various safety procedures but the rules are openly violated. LPG decanting from one cylinder to another using electric motors is prohibited by law but the practice is continuing due to absence of strict monitoring by the authorities concerned.