Follow Rules – Minister Rai tells LPG Tankers and Oil Co’s
“Follow the Rules/Guidelines or face action” – Minister Ramanath Rai and DC AB Ibrahim warn LPG tankers and Oil Companies
Mangaluru: During the Karnataka Development Programme review meeting addressed by B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada and Deputy Commissioner AB Ibrahim on Monday (20 June), they both came harsh on LPG tankers and oil companies for not following ten norms/guidelines instructed by the district administration. These guidelines were implemented by the district administration to make oil companies and transporters of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) take precautionary measures to prevent accidents on highways in Dakshina Kannada- but so far both the LPG tankers and the management of Oil Companies have not adhered to and not given a positive commitment.
Among the ten guidelines issued by the administration to the LPG Tankers and Oil Companies are : They need to identify two acres between Mangaluru and Shiradi for developing it as a truck terminal; The companies and transporters had to keep an additional emergency rescue vehicle; The LPG tankers should have one more additional driver to make it a three-member crew (two drivers and a cleaner); To fix speed governors and connect a vehicle tracking system to the office of Superintendent of Police; To set up a quick response team and keep a crane ready for rescue operations.
During the meeting, DC A.B. Ibrahim, Deputy Commissioner said, “About 1,800 tankers ply on the highways in the district daily. Few days ago a LPG tanker from Mangaluru to Hassan toppled at Addahole on NH 75. The tanker was damaged, there was gas leakage and luckily minor injuries. In 2013, eight persons were killed when a bullet tanker carrying LPG overturned and the gas leakage fuelled a blaze engulfing the vehicle and neighbouring buildings at Perne near Puttur. These kind of careless accident is a cause for concern. Although there is a ban on the movement of LPG tankers in the district between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., but the LPG tanker drivers are disobeying the rules”.
Expressing concern over increasing accidents on the highways, Minister Ramanath Rai said, ” I strongly urge and hereby instruct all the Police and Transport departments and the NHAI to work in coordination to take preventive steps. Make sure you check on LPG tankers who ply after the restricted timings. I also urge the LPG tankers and oil companies to follow the guidelines instructed by the DK administration. Stern action will be taken against those who disobey these rules and guidelines”
In the meantime, MLC Ivan D’Souza and MLA Mohiuddin Bava also took the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to task for water-logging on the highways between B.C. Road and Mangaluru and between Talapady and Udupi. They questioned how careless and negligent they could be, and what sort of engineering the NHAI was following.
“Police are taking Bribes and allowing LPG tankers to ply beyond restricted timings”-MLC Ivan D’Souza
MLC Ivan D’Souza alleged that though movement of tankers transporting cooking gas or LPG on the highways in Dakshina Kannada is banned between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the police are allowing it by taking bribe.
D’Souza said, ” Just recently I was brought to my knowledge by a crew of a tanker near Uppinangady that if they pay Rs. 500 to the police they would readily allow movement of tankers during night without any hassles. And this has been going on frequently with tanker drivers bribing the cops and carrying on with their routine business. Few days ago when I noticed a LPG tanker on the highway near Uppinangady late at night, I stopped the tanker and questioned the driver how he could ply the tanker during night. The driver without any hesitance openly said we could it by bribing the police. So if we have such kind of corrupt police in our police force how can we succeed in our plans to avoid accidents and fatalities. It is urgent that the government and other authorities check into this illegal act by the police”