Autos running on liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in the city are not safe enough as most of the autos don’t have fire extinguishers in them due to which lives of thousands of passengers always remain at risk.
In terms of safety, it is mandatory for LPG-run autos to have fire extinguisher to tackle any emergency situation. Though LPG-operated vehicles have been plying in Ludhiana since 2002, the safety norms are being ignored by the owners.
On Friday, when HT team travelled to several city areas in autos, it was found that only a few LPG-fitted autos carried fire extinguishers. As per the norms issued by transport office, after running an auto on LPG for up to 100-150 km every time, it should be run on petrol for five to seven km, which is not the case in city. A total of 3,198 autos were running on LPG in the city till October 30 last
.When asked about fire safety norms, auto driver Ram Sharma said, “It is not my auto. I have taken it on rent for three months. I’m not educated enough to know about all the formalities required to be fulfilled.”
Even most of the commuters were unaware of this mandatory safety feature. Adding to the problem is the lackadaisical attitude of the enforcement agencies that have failed to keep a tab on the problem.
When contacted, district transport officer Dalvinderjit Singh said, “If norms are being violated, the department will ensure its enforcement in a strict manner. We will check whether fire extinguishers have been fitted in the LPG-run autos.”