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Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 25 August: IT is often that you find your LPG cylinder exhaust before the expected time and end up suspecting that cooking gas had been pilfered from your cylinder before delivery.

This is a menace that almost every household find itself helpless to deal with. But come next March and such pilferage is likely to be a thing of the past as the LPG companies are bringing in a new kind of seal for cylinders that will be tamper evident.

At present, LPG cylinders come with a Heat-Shrink Plastic Seal that was introduced several years ago. The disadvantage of this seal is, it can be removed easily by pouring hot water and this does not leave behind a trace of the tampering.

Misusing this, transporters to delivery boys have been pilfering LPG before the cylinders reach a consumer.

To deal with this, the LPG companies such as Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum are now introducing a Tamper Evident Seal. This new seal developed by LPG Equipment Research Centre in Bangalore will come with a hologram of the concerned LPG company pasted across the cap of the cylinder.

The material used in the new seal is such that it cannot be removed without leaving behind a clear mark of tampering and this would make it easy for both LPG supervisors and consumers to identify a pilferage, if any.

The LPG companies have already introduced the new seal in Delhi from May this year. In West Bengal, Andaman and Sikkim, it will be introduced by the coming March.

“We are in the process of inviting tenders from private firms to manufacture and supply the new seal according to the design and specifications finalised by Oil Industry Technical Committee. Although the target is to introduce the new seal for LPG cylinders in our jurisdiction by next March, we hope to complete the task much before,” said Amalesh Dutta, the deputy general manager in-charge of Indian Oil Corporation for West Bengal region.

There are around one crore LPG consumers in West Bengal region that extends up to Andaman and Sikkim. The number of cylinders combining all the LPG companies operating here is around 70 lakh.

“Put together, the companies collectively deliver around 2.50 lakh cylinders every day. Going by this, the monthly requirement for sealing caps is around 75-lakh. Hence, we want to be sure of a steady supply of the new seal before introducing it,” said another IOC official.