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Editorial: Potential bombs

Two people were injured when a gas cylinder caught fire in Taimani area of the capital city. It could have ended up in a serious disaster, killing and wounding scores of people and gutting several shops. Fortunately, the damage was minimal while keeping the risk and potential of the gas cylinders in mind, especially in a shop where the cylinders are filled and kept without taking precautions. The other day’s incident should serve as a wakeup call both for the government and retailers. Cylinders filled with liquid petroleum gas (LPG) are potential bombs which can explode without any warning or showing mercy. The effects or damages of the cylinder explosion are as high as of a bomb or improvised explosive device.

Despite that people take extreme caution when see IEDs or bombs but play with the gas cylinders like toys. In the former case people contact police to defuse the bomb but in the latter case they don’t ask the government for education and proper maintenance of the cylinders filled with LPG. Due to this lack of awareness, several people lost their lives and several others were crippled in gas cylinder explosions. However, still we do not see “No smoking” sign in many shops where the cylinders are refilled. Blame the government or the retailers for this negligence but it is a very serious issue that should be addressed on emergency basis.

Therefore, the government should establish a special department to keep check on the LPG sellers and punish them for violations of the standards. But, before that the authorities had to work on the rules and regulations. The government cannot show right way to the retailers unless comprehensive and universally accepted regulations were drafted. Once the law has been approved, the concerned officials should launch a nationwide drive to educate LPG consumers and sellers about maintenance. Once people are educated about proper use of the LPG and maintenance of the cylinders, hope it would reduce the casualties caused by the gas explosions. Those shopkeepers who are not taking the regulations seriously should be punished.

It is duty of the government to ensure safety of public at every step. Thus, punishing those who do not take lives of common people serious by ignoring the safety regulations would be necessary. The sooner the government take this issue serious is better because it would save precious lives. If the concerned authorities did not pay heed then more and more such incidents will happen.

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