ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Consumer Affairs Authority which has precipitated a crisis the cooking gas sector with its price controls has allowed distributors to sell household gas from newly unloaded stocks, amid a spate of unexplained fires.
Rom 05 December, gas companies would be allowed to distribute cylinders but no stocks which were imported earlier would be allowed.
Newly unloaded stocks would be allowed subject to higher level of odorant (ethyl mercaptan) being added to help identify leaks by their smells.
When cylinders are made, one in every 100 cylinders should be given to the CAA to inspect.
Critics and opposition legislators have questioned whether a gas stock with a higher level of propane (50 percent instead of 30 percent) had increase the gas pressure causing leaks.
Some glass topped household cookers were also seen to have exploded.
Whether it is caused by a flame which is emitting more energy due to wrong mix of gas is not known.
State-run Litro Gas sold cylinders with 50 percent propane at one time, but there were no complaints of leaks and fires at that time.
The 50 percent propane cylinder sale was a response to Consume Affairs Authority price controls. No action has so far being taken against the CAA for precipitating such reactions by price controls from a sector which has been operating without any such problems for decades. (Colombo/Dec05/2011)