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City wakes up to dangers of piped gas

City wakes up to dangers of piped gas
Highlights

Hyderabad: City Wakes Up to Dangers of Piped Gas, he deadly fire mishap in East Godavari district that claimed 16 lives after a gas leak raises questions over the piped gas distribution in the city.

How safe is the city? The deadly fire mishap in East Godavari district that claimed 16 lives after a gas leak raises questions over the piped gas distribution in the city.

Mother Station at Pet Basheerbagh
Ram Prasad, Assistant Professor, Malla Reddy Group of Institutions, said, “Similar fire accidents could occur on the outskirts of the city as some gated communities are provided with Piped Natural Gas (PNG).”

He questions the safety standards of the BGL as the gas pipe was laid about 10 feet below the surface. He says the line passes over dhabas and other petty commercial establishments in the vicinity. Bhagyanagar Gas Limited (BGL), an ambitious joint venture of HPCL and GAIL, commenced supply of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households and compressed natural gas (CNG) to three-wheelers and four-wheelers in 2011.

The project envisages laying of pipelines from mother stations to the houses on the outskirts of the city. Today, hardly 1000 households are roped in against the target of 4.66 lakh households by 2016. The pipeline works are moving at snail’s pace due to short supply of gas.

“The BGL is supposed to inform people about the underground gas pipeline and maintain emergency 24/7 call centre to attend to their complaints,” says Vijay Kumar, a resident of Kompally.

Vijay Kumar, who was secretary of his gated community, recalled that the BGL did not return after we raised queries on safety. “BGL has failed to allay our fears on fire mishaps. We wanted to know the steps to be taken in case of emergency. Then who will monitor the pipelines? The BGL staff did not get back to us.”

The BGL pipeline along Medchal highway can be identified with the help of organge milestones and sign boards. The emergency numbers mentioned on the milestones and sign boards turned out to be numbers of BGL headquarters. On weekends and holidays none responds to the calls of the public.

The oil companies fail to respond to emergency calls of the public even as the Union oil ministry blames lack of a statutory body for carrying out safety audits of oil and gas installations across the country. Suggested caption: Unattended Piped Natural Gas (PNG) at Jedimetla village junction on Medchal highway.

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