Trading flammable substances like petrol and octane in the open market is risky. A terrible fire incident can happen at any time. However, these fuels are being sold in open markets of Jaldhaka Upazila of Nilphamari. Not only that, CNG-powered auto-rickshaws, three-wheelers are running on LP gas used in homes without ignoring the restrictions.
Today on January 28 Jaldhaka Municipality, Tenganmari, Kaimari, Mirganj, Bangabandhu Hat, Shimulbari and other market places are visited, grocery stores and even beer shops are selling LP gas cylinders.
Many shops are selling motorcycle octane, petrol. Due to the lack of supervision of the administration, the trading of these dangerous flammable substances is going on freely.
Businessmen who are not involved in the sale of these fuels complain that the gas cylinders reach the shops through mini pick-ups.
The cylinder is dropped from the pick-up. A massive explosion can occur at any time. The business of risky fuels like petrol-octane is growing steadily as it is profitable.
It is known that if there are less than 10 cylinders in the shop, no license will be required - many traders are taking advantage of the law. Some first store the cylinders in their homes or warehouses, from there they bring them to the shops and sell them so that no more than 10 are displayed.
Fire extinguishing system is mandatory for greater safety when storing cylinders for sale, but retail gas cylinder traders do not comply. Locals claim that there are no raids on gas cylinders even though mobile court raids are seen sometimes on other businesses.
Mizan, a small trader in Kaimari said, 'I did not know that a license is required to sell gas cylinders. Many shopkeepers are selling, so I am also selling. Because now you don't have to go far to buy cylinders, the car comes to the store.'
Hasan Ali, a cloth merchant in Jaldhaka Golmunda Bazar, said that hundreds of CNG-powered auto-rickshaws ply from Jaldhaka to Nilphamari road every day. Each car is running dangerously with three passengers in the back seat and two passengers in the front with the driver. LP gas cylinders are being used in these vehicles. Major accidents can happen at any moment.
Sohail Miah drives a CNG-powered autorickshaw on the Jaldhaka-Nilphamari road. He said, 'I have been using LP gas for many days, there has been no accident till date. We are proceeding with caution. Earlier I used to drive Mahindra (autorickshaw) with petrol, which costs more.'
Deputy Assistant Director of Fire Service of Nilphamari. Enamul Haque said that it is very dangerous to keep gas cylinders in this way in the Fire Extinguishing Act. Actions will be taken against unlicensed sellers of gas, octane and petrol.
BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) motor vehicle inspector Himadri Ghatak of Nilphamari said that drivers who are using LP gas in their vehicles will be brought under the law.