The Department of Commerce and Supply Managemen t (DoCSM) has made it mandatory for sellers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to weigh the cylinders before delivery in a bid to prevent possible short-weighing and protect customers from hazards of leakage.
There are 54 bottling plants and an estimated 10,000 gas dealers across the country. Most of them do not weigh the gas cylinders before selling them.
DoCSM Director Hari Narayan Belbase said they had asked LPG sellers, bottling plants, gas distributors and depots to keep digital
weighing machines compulsorily at their outlets.
“Although a few bottlers have been weighing their LPG cylinders, many others including LPG retailers have not been doing so,” he said.
Last week, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) wrote to the Nepal LP Gas Industry Association asking it to ensure that its members had weighing machines at their depots. The regulatory body had asked the sellers to keep weighing devices with a capacity of 50 kg within a week.
“We have started monitoring LPG sellers in compliance with the NBSM’s rule,” said Belbase. Last week, during an inspection tour, the DoCSM had asked the distributors of Nepal Gas at Anamnagar and Siddhi Ganesh Parajuli Gas Suppliers at Shantinagar to weigh LPG cylinders.
According to the DoCSM, the use of weighing devices will ensure quality service to customers and prevent cheating through short-weighing . Belbase said they took action after receiving a deluge of complaints through Hello Sarkar.
Likewise, the department believes that the use of weighing machine will ensure customer safety.
“It protects people from the risk of leakage and possible explosion due to the poor quality of cylinders,” said Belbase.
An empty cylinder weighs 14-17 kg and its weight increases by 14.2 kg after being filled with LPG. Earlier, the NBSM had also announced that any cylinder with a difference in weight of more than 5 percent from that printed on the cylinder would be confiscated instantly.
According to the NBSM, if the weight of a cylinder is 2 percent more than its stated weight, it could be due to the accumulation of sludge inside and could pose a risk to users, so sellers have to be careful about cleaning the cylinders in time.
Similarly, if the weight of a cylinder is 2 percent less than its stated weight, it could be due to rusting of the cylinder, and it might not be able to withstand the pressure when filled with cooking gas.