No more deaths due to gas cylinder blasts!
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Mumbai had a horrifying end to monsoon 2015 and a nasty beginning to 2016! And the carnage continued into 2017.
In 2015 there were explosions involving steel gas cylinders at an eatery in Kurla claiming the lives of 8 people (7 of them students), all of whom had their entire lives' prospects ahead of them.
This was quickly followed by massive fires in the Kandivali slums at Damu Nagar is also reported to have involved a series of 25 to 30 gas cylinders exploding and making their contribution to burning a 1000 slum homes!
In just a span of 4 months there had been explosions that took valuable lives in various parts of India including Delhi, Orissa, Barabanki.
Not only are the rural and urban poor, slum dwellers, construction and other temporary labour families vulnerable to cylinder blasts the better off middle class homes too face incidents that go unreported or underreported.
LPG cylinders in India are a ticking time bomb. These cylinders are made of steel and these are still relatively cheap and effective especially from a production, handling, storage and safety point of view when their use is regulated and monitored professionally. However in many cases they are used unregulated and their behavior in the event of a fire led meltdown can only end in a blast.
Do we have to tolerate gas Cylinders exploding inside homes in the 21st Century? The violent death it causes, the effects of a blast on a human body is unprecedented and scar surviving loved ones for life.
Technological advances in plastics and resins have brought us an alternative to Steel cylinders- those made of Composites!
Composite cylinders are known to be 100% explosion proof and leak proof and therefore have the potential to increase safety multiple fold and save precious lives and public property! Countries like Philippines, Malaysia have launched their respective programs to bring these cylinders to the market and primarily for their Safety value.
India however has been dilly dallying. Online research shows that there have been efforts on since 2011 or so to bring composite cylinders into our market.
But nowhere in the public realm has their explosion proofness been clearly communicated to us (except on manufacturers websites).
The BIG truth that these are "safer" than steel cylinders and are 100% explosion proof and also leak proof appears deliberately muted in the interest of the commercial relevance and the ubiquitious nature of the steel cylinder.
It is time to make a change and for the government to do what it takes to promote their usage especially in the minimally regulated households and eateries where they get used.
The Indian government needs to get its act together on promotion of this invaluable avenue to make gas cylinders explosion proof, once and for all!
Pictures Source: Indian Express Group, Hexagon Ragasco
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