Mangaluru, April 14, 2016: The huge ’bullet tankers’ of oil companies that day and night transported liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the national highways in Dakshina Kannada are rerely with two drivers and a cleaner as per mandatory law.
This fact was brought o light at a meeting chaired by DK SP Sharanappa S.D. on Apr13, Wednesday in light of frequent accidents of LPG tankers on the National Highway 75, connecting Mangaluru and Bengaluru.
Following the inferno that led to the death of 11 people after a LPG tanker overturned at Perne near Uppinangady, the district administration had ordered strict enforcement of the Motor Vehicle Rules that stipulates the presence of two drivers and a cleaner for transporting LPG in a bullet tanker. On an average, 250 tankers move every day with LPG from HPCL’s Import Loading Terminal in Mangaluru to different parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and parts of Maharashtra.
Oil company representatives said in the meeting that as many as 30 tankers have overturned in the period between April 2015 and March 2016 on the national highways resulting in causalities.
HPCL’s Manager (Safety) Thirubaskaran said oil companies were ensuring the presence of one driver and a cleaner in each of the bullet tanker, Bantwal Circle Inspector Belliyappa said they have only a driver in the tanker. “These cleaners are seen only at the time of entry of the tanker into the Terminal and they leave the vehicle soon after it moves out,” he said.
HPCL’s Thirubaskaran and Senior Manager Gnanasekaran said they have issued notices against the agencies involved. Puttur Traffic Inspector Mahesh Prasad said it takes about 12 hours for the oil companies to plug a LPG leakage and shift the gas to a substitute tanker.
Though the quick response vehicle of oil companies stationed at Gundiya can reach an accident spot within two hours, Prasad said it was the emergency vehicle from Mangaluru that has the expertise for arresting leakage and shifting of the gas.