Monday, September 12, 2005

Vehicles using domestic LPG under govt scanner

Parents care little that their dear ones inhale LPG leaked from the school vans. Those who care can do little as very few schools provide their own transportation. The government has acted now but it remains to be seen how this will be implemented. Voice your concern. Approach the schools with your grievance and stop this practice for ever. You are not doing this for anyone else but for your own generation. Act Now.

Read the report here

Vehicles using domestic LPG under govt scanner

To begin with, schools to be held responsible for safety of students travelling in LPG-run vehicles
By Palak Nandi in Indian Express

Ahmedabad, September 11: School authorities will be held responsible for the safety of students travelling in LPG-run vehicles. Taking note of the dangerous practice to fuel vehicles using domestic gas cylinders, the State Government has issued this directive. As per the order, the Food and Civil Supplies Department can now register a criminal offence against school authorities if their students are found travelling in LPG-run vans or autorickshaws.
Though no official figures are available, there are an estimated 5,000-odd autorickshaws and 3,000-odd vans ferrying schoolchildren. More than 70 per cent of these vans and about 30 per cent of the autorickshaws run on LPG.
‘‘More than 1,700 vans are fueled by domestic cylinders,’’ said a senior official at the Collectorate.
The Food and Civil Supplies Department has decided to check vehicles in cities that do not have LPG stations. It will keep a strict watch in the Anand-Kheda belt where plastic pumps are used to fill gas into the vehicle’s makeshift tank — a practice that is highly dangerous.
The issue regarding safety of students was taken up by the Ahmedabad’s Initiative in Reduction (AIR) of Pollution.
After several vain attempts to get State authorities to act on the issue, the activists took up the matter with the Bhure Lal Committee. During a recent visit, the Committee members intervened, insisting that something should be done to ensure the students’ safety.
At the same meeting, it was decided that the Food and Civil Supplies Department would hold school authorities responsible for the safety of children. The Department was empowered to file a criminal case against the authorities in case LPG-run vehicles were found ferrying students.
The vans and autorickshaws are not owned by the schools. It’s the parents who hire these vehicles. But, Secretary (Food & Civil Supplies) S K Nanda says, ‘‘LPG-run vehicles do brisk business because the schools do not provide transportation facilities. The directive doesn’t mean that no action will be taken against the driver or his employer. The criminal offence, however, will be registered against the school authorities.’’ By turning a blind eye, the school authorities as well as the parents are encouraging the use of domestic cylinders in vehicles, he adds. ‘‘The Gujarat Pollution Control Board has agreed to run an awareness campaign against use of LPG cylinders to support our drive,’’ says Nanda.
The directive has been issued to all district collectors and officials of the Food and Civil Supplies Department. ‘‘We have also empowered officials from the Regional Transport Office, Traffic Department, Food Control Department and even the Consumer Forum to stop and inspect any vehicle they suspect. They can contact the police or our department, which in turn will lodge a case against the school authorities,’’ says Nanda, adding the drive will be initiated ‘‘at the earliest.’’
Welcoming the move, AIR convenor Rahul Mangoankar says, ‘‘It’s important to fix responsibility on someone. Now, school authorities will ensure that the vehicles do not use domestic cylinders.’’

© Indian Express