Propane distributers have gone on strike in India after being blamed for supplying expired and condemned LPG tanks to customers.
The old cylanders had been auctioned as scrap metal. They have a limited life span and are taken out of circulation when they expire. The safety valves are removed and holes bored in them to render them unusable, kanglaonline.com reported.
About 800 old cylnders were auctioned in Assam about three months ago. But instead of going to the refinery for scrap, many of them have started turning up on the market, having been patched up for refilling and given new nozzles. The ruse was detected following complaints from enraged customers.
Propane delivery truck drivers have been blamed, sparking a stand off and leading to the strike, which will cause supply problems for those needing propane for cooking.
The gas company, IOC, has threatened to charge the truckies for the defective cylinders. But the truckies have in turn argued that the IOC is the only authorized agency that can replace nozzles, blaming the company for the situation.
Speaking outside the Sekmai gas bottling plant, Assam Petroleum Majdur union reprentative Naorem Dilip said hundreds of propane delivery trucks would stay off the road until the charges leveled against them were withdrawn by the state’s gas agencies.
Meanwhile, the gas bottling company has sent out warnings to consumers to be vigilant about the expired cylinders. Though propane is safe when used properly with certified and well-maintained equipment, it is highly flammable. Old, expired equipment could put users at risk.