The amendment is aimed at addressing the loopholes in the existing law, officials say
Ten years after formulating the Bangladesh Gas Act, 2010, the government has decided to amend the law, aiming to close some loopholes, senior officials have said.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) has been instructed to scrutinize the law for amendment, the officials told Bangla Tribune.
The decision came after the EMRD discovered that the existing law did not have the provision for mobile courts.
The EMRD recently decided to conduct mobile court raids in order to stop unregulated sale of bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and approached the Ministry of Public Administration to this end in September.
But later they discovered that the existing gas law did not have a provision to allow mobile court drives, causing the move to be stalled.
The demand for LPG is growing every day, since new gas connection to households has been suspended for a while.
Taking advantage of the growing demand, LPG wholesalers and retailers are selling the bottled gas randomly, defying safety measures meant for marketing LPG, in order to ensure easy access to the gas for consumers.
An official at the Department of Explosives, requesting anonymity, said: “LPG is heavier than air; it gets deposited, making gas pockets in confined places, instead of getting dispersed in the air.
“A devastating blaze may erupt if the gas comes in contact with any spark from electric wires or gadgets or even a small fire,” he warned.
Moreover, if an LPG cylinder is near a fire, the gas inside may leak through the cylinder bulb due to the heat, causing a massive explosion, he added.
“That is why there are safety measures in place to regulate the sale and handling of LPG, but they are ignored most of the time,” the official said.
The absence of the mobile court provision in the gas law is mentioned in the minutes of the monthly coordination meeting of the EMRD held on October 13, signed by Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman.
According to the minutes, a joint secretary told the meeting that they were facing legal difficulties in conducting mobile court drives due to that loophole.
“So, we are not conducting any mobile court raids now. In order to do so, we need to amend the Bangladesh Gas Act, 2010,” he added.
The EMRD senior secretary then ordered to examine the law and make the necessary amendment.
At least 100 people died in 81 LPG-related accidents across Bangladesh last year, causing the EMRD to consider mobile court raids to ensure that all types of safety measures are maintained in selling LPG.
LPG consumption has quadrupled across the country over the past three years, with households, commercial entities and vehicles increasingly relying on the fuel.