Cylinders were found in the godowns of distribution agencies in seven taluks and two city rationing offices and add to the 1,025 cylinders found with other defects, mainly leakage.

Civil supplies authorities in the district have, over the last five days, unearthed 781 LPG gas cylinders past their use-by date.

These cylinders were found in the godowns of distribution agencies in seven taluks and two city rationing offices and add to the 1,025 cylinders found with other defects, mainly leakage.

Most of the cylinders were of the Indane brand from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Agencies have been asked to return cylinders to the oil company concerned at the earliest.

The district administration directed the city rationing offices and taluk supply offices to conduct inspections at agency godowns at least once in a week after a gas cylinder explosion was reported from Malippuram recently.

Pressure test

Oil companies are required to conduct pressure test of cooking gas cylinders once in ten years, in the case of new cylinders in circulation, and every five years since then.

In Aluva taluk 215 cylinders were detected beyond the pressure test due date and 435 cylinders were found with leakage. Taluk supply offices here have been conducting daily inspections in their jurisdiction with seven gas agencies.

Inspections by the taluk supply authorities in Kochi have detected 164 gas cylinders beyond the pressure test-due date and 430 with leakage. North Paravur taluk accounted for 158 cylinders each beyond the test date and with leakage. Supply officials here said that many of them were taken back by the agencies following consumer complaints over safety concerns.

City rationing office authorities in Kochi have detected 166 gas cylinders beyond the test due date, followed by Muvattupuzha taluk with 49 cylinders, Kunnathunadu taluk with 21 cylinders beyond the due date and two with leakage, Kothamangalam with five cylinders beyond the due date and Ernakulam city rationing office with three such cylinders.

The IOC authorities said that most of their gas cylinders detected were not in circulation but were being kept at the agency godown for return. They argued that at least 1.50 lakh out of the IOC’s 38 lakh-strong subscriber base in the State were sporadic customers taking delivery once in six months or a year. Since these cylinders don’t get returned promptly, they surpass the test due date.

Meanwhile, a taluk supply officer said that the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Regulation of. Supply and Distribution) Order did not confer the supply officers with powers to inspect and check the quality of the gas cylinders. Neither do they have the necessary technical knowhow for the purpose, he said.

A city rationing official said that gas agencies have been asked to take delivery of cylinders with the test-due date of D 12 or further. Every cylinder is marked with an alphanumeric code denoting the due date for its pressure test. While the alphabets A, B, C, and D denote three months each in a year, the last two digits indicate the year. So D12 means it is not due for test till December 31 this year.

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