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Around 400,000 tampered liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders are in circulation in the market posing a high risk of leakage and explosion, said the Gas Dealers Federation Nepal (GDFN) on Friday.

Following the government’s decision to take action against Tara Gas and Sugam Gas for illegally modifying LPG cylinders, the GDFN said that the government had failed to monitor many of the bottling companies that are circulating such cylinders.

Gas traders blamed Nepal Oil Corporation for issuing licenses to bottling companies haphazardly. The country’s monthly LPG requirement amounts to 15,000 tons while there are over 41 bottling companies dealing in the fuel. Although the requirement could be handled by some two dozen companies, licenses have been distributed recklessly.

“Many new companies are in the process of getting licenses,” said GDFN president Gyaneshwor Aryal at a programme on Friday.

Changing the foot and neck rings of the cylinders and imprinting the name and logo of one’s company is creating a serious threat to the people, said Sita Ram Joshi, director general at the Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology. Aerotic, Nepal Cylinders and Griha Laxmi Metal Industries are the only three companies that have been granted a license to manufacture LPG cylinders in the country. Joshi said a majority of bottling companies need to upgrade their production and processing method through modern technology.

An LPG cylinder has an average lifespan of 10 years. Bottling companies are required to carry out a hydrostatic test on their cylinders every five years. The test involves checking the cylinder’s valve and removing the residue that has collected inside it. “However, a number of companies have not been following the process,” said GDFN secretary Chandra Thapa.
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