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Inspection teams deployed to check oil tankers' fitness: Senate body informed.

ISLAMABAD -- The Senate's Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources was informed on Monday that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had deployed third party inspectors to check fitness of oil tankers aimed at avoiding untoward incidents.

'Around 40 percent oil tankers are not in good condition, while 38 lorries have fitness certificates from the departments concerned and 44 percent have no-objection certificates issued by National Highways and Motorways Police,' OGRA Chairperson Uzma Adil apprised the body.

Chairman Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri said 230 people had lost their lives in the Ahmedpur Sharqia oil tanker tragedy and the authority should take stringent measures to avoid occurrence of such incidents in future.

The OGRA Chairperson informed the meeting that a fine of Rs10 million had been imposed on Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) for violating the Pakistan Petroleum Rules 1937 in plying the oil tanker lorry, which rolled over in Ahmedpur Sharqia and caused loss of precious lives.

Besides, she said, the authority had paid compensation

amounting to Rs1 million to heirs of each deceased and Rs500,000 to each injured.

The OGRA inquiry report had revealed that the tank lorry, hired by the SPL from Marwat Enterprises, was found to be non-compliant to the Pakistan Petroleum Rules 1937.

'Since the tank lorry was found not to have CIE licence; therefore, it is regarded as non-complaint with the rules, and as per the ENAR Petrotech report, the tank lorry had four Axle; therefore, the tank lorry was not compliant with the NHSO-2000.' As per the National Highway Safety Ordinance (NSHO)-2000 requirement, 50,000L tank lorry must have 5-6 Axle, it added.

Uzma Adil said OGRA Rules 2009 were not being implemented due to departmental deficiencies.

Senator Nisar Muhammad said OGRA was not playing its due role in getting implemented its rules and there was dire need of appropriate legislation to avoid such incidents in future.

'There is the need to devise an effective mechanism in consultation with all stakeholders and the Standing Committee to prevent such incidents,' he added.

Senators Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hasani and Baz Muhammad reprimanded the OGRA authorities for not implementing its rules in letter and spirit, asking them to initiate legal proceedings against those who were responsible for the tragedy.

The chairman underlined the need for creating awareness among masses about dangers of highly inflammable commodities, adding 'If police did not perform their duty to keep public away from the incident site, people too did not adopt safety measures by themselves.'

The secretary Ministry of Petroleum apprised the committee that Oil Tankers Association had threatened to go on a strike after the inspection teams started to check the lorries' physical fitness.

The committee said no attention should be given towards the strike call as there was no compromise on safety of public, but the association's due rights must be ensured.

It also decided to hold a joint meeting of all stakeholders in next 15 days to devise a practicable mechanism to avoid oil tanker tragedies like Ahmedpur Sharqia.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said FIR of the Ahmedpur Sharqia incident had already been lodged and the Punjab government was holding an inquiry into the matter. 'All details will be shared in an in-camera meeting,' he added.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Senators Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hasani, Nisar Muhammad, Baz Muhammad Khan, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Yousaf Badeni, Taj Afridi and Rubina Irfan, besides senior officials of the ministry and OGRA.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jul 25, 2017
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