CNG vehicles escape safety check, Elappully testing centre under scanner for fraud

There are three testing centres in the state that have been approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO). Photo: Manorama Online.

Kochi: Several vehicles operating with CNG cylinders in Kerala have not undergone the hydro-test required to be conducted every three years.

Hydro-testing of the CNG vehicle cylinder should be conducted every three years and the valid certificates and plates should be obtained, as per the Gas Cylinder Rules, 2016.

Manorama has found that owners of CNG-run vehicles are allegedly being given certificates, without carrying out the mandatory safety inspections.

A racket, involving fraudulent outlets, is reportedly behind this. They deceive the vehicle owners by giving certificates without conducting the hydro-test.

They woo the vehicle owners by advertising that the testing would be conducted for meagre rates and the certificate given. The vehicles that are thus back on the road without completing the specified cylinder safety inspection during the re-test, raise the risk of accidents. Such vehicles include car, bus and autorickshaw.

There are three testing centres in the state that have been approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).

These centres are at Kalavoor in Alappuzha district, Pattimattom in Ernakulam and Elappully in Palakkad.

The fraud is allegedly being committed in the name of the centre at Elappully. The Manorama team has gathered video evidence of cylinders being received via a collection centre at Cheranalloor in Kochi, and certificates given without testing.

The PESO website says that nine cylinders were tested here on September 17, but the testing centre was not open on that day.

According to the website, testing was completed on 136 cylinders from September 7 to 29.

The rule stipulates that the vehicles should be brought to the testing centres, and cylinders removed safely and tested. This is to prevent the risk of explosion when the cylinder is removed. But bypassing this, the cylinders are allegedly removed without the adequate safety mechanisms, posing a risk.

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