The Bombay High Court has issued notices to Chief Controller of Explosives and other bodies on a PIL seeking to appoint an independent agency to verify licences issued by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for carrying LPG in vehicles on roads.
The HC asked PESO and other bodies to file response in this regard by November 30.
The notices were issued by a bench of justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi on a Public Interest Litigation filed by social worker Mohammed Sehmad Hussain.
The petition also sought a direction to the authorities to strictly comply with the provisions of the Explosives Act-1884, and Static and Mobile Pressure Vessel (Unfired) Rules [SMPV(U)]-1981, for allowing vehicles to carry the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
According to the petitioner, all the vehicles carrying LPG by road need a certificate and NOC from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation in India.
The petitioner contended that it takes about 30-40 days under SMPV(U) Rules to grant NOC to vehicles and before granting certificate, tests have to be conducted. The petition enumerated steps for conducting such tests.
Petitioner’s lawyer Dinesh Kadam submitted that tests are required for the purpose of ensuring that the LPG tanker is in a fit condition and there is no possibility of any explosion of the vehicle. He submitted that this is also important from the point of view of public safety.
Kadam submitted that 13 vehicles were converted from trailers to LPG tankers in December 2014 and it took approximately 30-40 days for PESO to grant license.
The lawyer said that, however, he came across cases of other vehicles in which immediately after they were converted from trailers to LPG tankers, PESO certificate was granted.
The petitioner pointed out that though the vehicles were converted into LPG tankers on a subsequent date, the PESO certificate was obtained before that.
The lawyer invited the court’s attention to an accident which had occurred in Karnataka and also showed photographs of explosion of the tanker and the damage caused.
The bench said it was satisfied that the petitioner has raised an issue of public importance. Hence, it issued notices to the respondents, returnable on November 30.