Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: District Joint Collector M. Veerabrahmaiah has warned that stern action, under the Essential Commodities Act (EC Act), would be taken against those who misuse domestic LPG cylinders for commercial purpose and to run vehicles.

As many as 111 cases have been booked in January this year against hotels, eateries, restaurants, offices, bars and commercial users for misusing the domestic cylinders and seized 200 such cylinders, he told The Hindu.

Similarly, in February another 12 cases were booked and 70 cylinders seized, he said, adding that under the Andhra Pradesh LPG order 2000 read with 6(A) of EC Act, the Government has powers to confiscate the cylinders and the vehicles too for such misuse. The gas connection could also be cancelled. Besides, there is a provision to book criminal case under 7 C of EC Act in the court of law, and the court could impose up to three months RI or fine or both. The government is very strict in implementing the Act as it gives a subsidy of about Rs.400 on every domestic cylinder.

Surprise checks

District Assistant Supply Officer Jwala Prakash said surprise checks were conducted regularly to detect misuse of domestic LPG either directly or by transferring the gas to the LPG kit fitted in the vehicle.

As the petrol prices have gone up, car owners, particularly those owning small cars and vans, are misusing domestic LPG in vehicles rampantly in Vizag. The auto gas costs about Rs.33.58 per litre in the city. Usage of domestic gas, which is supplied at the rate of Rs.21 per kg, would be much cheaper to those violators.