Islamabad (July 6, 2017): Almost 85 percent of all tankers transporting oil products are not complying with prescribed standards, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) will ask the oil market company (OMC) concerned to pay Rs10 million in fines and compensation to the families affected by recent oil spill and subsequent inferno in Ahmedpur East.
Ogra had hired the services of two separate third-party inspection companies to ascertain whether the OMC had complied with the 2009 Ogra technical standards for the transportation of petrol, and to identify the reasons for the tragic accident of June 25. With the death of one more victims on Thursday, the toll in the tragedy rose to 215.
OMCs have been similarly fined in at least two cases in the recent past: accidents in Nankana Sahib and Multan in 2016. In both cases, the companies were fined and made to pay for the compensation, which was given to families of victims by the government.
Ogra — consisting of its chairperson and two members — is expected to immediately take up reports from both third-party inspectors, along with the recommendations of a two-member Ogra technical committee, which will be submitted today (Thursday).
Documents suggest the OMC in question did not comply with Ogra’s orders for submission of an initial incident report within 48 hours, as required. Sources said the ill-fated tanker did not even meet safety and transportation standards of the company itself, let alone Ogra’s 2009 technical standards for road transport vehicles.
“Shell Pakistan Limited did not comply” with directives to immediately furnish an accident report, an Ogra order said, asking the company to “explain its position for not adhering to the authority’s directive”.According to an official, it had also come to light that the tanker operator had already offloaded about half of his 50,000 litre cargo before the incident.
On the other hand, Supreme Court (SC) Karachi registry heard a case pertaining to transfer oil tankers outside Karachi and gave a week deadline after which proper action will be taken against the violators.
In a separate hearing in Lahore High Court (LHC), it was disposed that the permit of oil tanker was expired while Shell company didn’t fulfill its duty for the sake of some money.
Chief Justice of LHC also expressed resentment over the absence of oil tanker officials.