Alarm over CNG safety following 2 arrests

Vol 22, PW 8 (07 Feb 19) News in Brief

Alarm bells are ringing over CNG safety at 445 filling stations across Gujarat after the arrest of a Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) official for taking bribes in return for "favourable" inspection reports.

On January 23, police chased two suspects with wads of currency in their hands at the busy Sarabhai Compound road in Vadodara. As curious onlookers gathered, CBI inspector NK Verma and his team arrested Vadodara PESO controller Anil Kumar Yadav and accomplice Samrat Kapadia carrying Rs1.5 lakhs ($2100) in cash fom CNG testing stations Swagat Enterprise and Purusharath Auto in Rajkot, and Shiv Auto in Morbi.

Yadav and Kapadia appeared at Ahmedabad special court seven on January 29 and were remanded in custody. An eight-page FIR seen by this report lists how Yadav through a network of accomplices issued licenses for CNG testing stations and LPG/CNG storage facilities for money.

Kapadia, who runs CNG cylinder testing company Premium Hydro Engineering in Ahmedabad, collected money on behalf of Yadav from CNG stations desperate for a mandatory "explosives license' which they sold for Rs50,000 ($700) each.