Lucknow: Just for drivers’ convenience, tempos being turned into mobile bombs

Thousands of Lucknowites are unwittingly commuting on ‘tempos-turned-mobile bombs’ daily just for the convenience of the tempo drivers, who have installed double fuel cylinders in their three-wheelers, to avoid frequent trips to the fuel stations.
The cylinders are placed one above the other below the seat.(Ht Photo)
The cylinders are placed one above the other below the seat.(Ht Photo)
Published on Apr 10, 2018 10:39 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By, Lucknow

Thousands of Lucknowites are unwittingly commuting on ‘tempos-turned-mobile bombs’ daily just for the convenience of the tempo drivers, who have installed double fuel cylinders in their three-wheelers, to avoid frequent trips to the fuel stations.

HOW THEY WERE CAUGHT

The staff at a filling station found that some of the three-wheelers were able to fill more gas that others. They reported the matter to senior officers and, after finding double cylinders in some tempos, they informed the transport department authorities.

“It’s a risk to the life of many people and we will include this point in our routine checking of public transport vehicles,” said Bidisha Singh RTO (Enforcement).

The cylinders are installed, illegally, under the seat (as seen in the picture), usually placed one on top of the other, and the gas filled at fuel stations gets transferred from one cylinder to another with the help of a pipe connecting them – just as many people have double water tanks on their rooftops connected to one another.

Jatin Mittal, officer (fire and safety), Green Gas Limited (GGL) that operates CNG stations, said, “We (collectively) get two to three vehicles with double cylinders daily at different stations across the city and have informed the transport department about it.”

Tempo drivers presumably do this to run more kilometres and spare themselves the trouble of standing in long queues at fuel stations, frequently.

“There is high chance of explosion in such vehicles as the tanks are connected with pipes, which is not the case if there is a single cylinder. Between 150 and 200 double cylinder tempos are operating in Lucknow” said Pankaj Dixit, president Lucknow Auto Rickshaw Three-wheeler Sangh (LARTS). Over 3,000 Vikram tempos operate in Lucknow.

In one cylinder about 6.5 kilogram CNG can be filled and if two cylinders are filled they have over 12 kilogram of CNG. “If a blast occurs there will be a double impact which could be a threat to other vehicles on the road too,” said Piyush Verma, general secretary, LARTS.

A letter with detailed information about double cylinder tempos was sent to the RTO, Lucknow by GGL. “Even during fitness examination of three-wheelers we will check this point,” said RTO Bidisha.

Dixit said such fittings are illegal and those doing it should be penalized “as they are putting public life to risk.”

A tempo accommodates up to 10 passengers at a time besides the driver. Once filled, a single cylinder can help run up to 180-kilometres, which means up to five trips from Aliganj to Charbagh. After this the driver needs to refill the tank. The tempos with double cylinders can run up to over 300-kilometres.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Saigal is principal correspondent and has over 10 years of experience. Has reported from Varanasi and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh with Hindustan Times. In Lucknow he covers health, medical education and also writes on transport. Has been reporting on outstation political and special assignments. Piror to HT has worked for agency and websites.

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