The explosion of a gas tanker near Mulbagal in Kolar district that killed three people on Monday is a wake-up call to all those who are involved in the movement of fuel and gas tankers on Bangalore’s crowded roads.
The fuel and gas distribution companies in the City are now revisiting their safety standards and control checks of the tankers.
There are more than 100 fuel outlets and gas distributing agencies in the City.
So it is inevitable for these tankers, some with 14,000-litre capacity to make frequent rounds in the City on a regular basis.
“Since fuel is among the most essential commodities, the movement of such vehicles is not restricted, but are monitored. But, we don’t allow them to ply within the City and, most of them are permitted to operate only around outer ring road areas so that fire and emergency services can immediately reach the spots to provide emergency relief if any eventuality occurs.
“However, we have put certain restrictions on their movement since they cause traffic congestion during peak hours and, also since they carry hazardous material,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem said.
Commuters in the City, used to seeing fuel tankers even during peak hours, don’t find it reassuring enough. Murthy H, a resident of Hebbal, observed, “Nowadays, it is common practice among the gas agencies to let their delivery boys carry cylinders on two wheelers, some of them even on bicycles.
It is very disturbing, since most of the riders not only wobble as they drive but also the consequence of those highly suppressed containers exploding due to a single fall is unimaginable. The government should immediately put restrictions on such dangerous practices.”
On the Mulbagal incident, B R Ravindranath, president, Bangalore Petroleum Dealers’
Association, said: “Though the investigation is on to ascertain how the incident took place, it has surprised all of us. Most of the tankers, before being commissioned to carry fuels, undergo intensive checks and only then they are certified.”