NEW DELHI (TIP): Manufacturers of CNG and LPG retrofitting kits will now have to provide “guarantee” or “warranty” for their products. The decision was taken on Thursday by the road transport and highways ministry in consultation with manufacturers with the intent to make CNG retrofitted vehicles safer and less accidentprone.
The move will also rid the market of fly-by-night manufacturers selling substandard kits. Safety issues relating to CNG kits have come into focus following increasing cases of fire and other defects in CNG-fueled vehicles. No manufacturer provides guarantee or warranty for their products, a ministry source said. “Though there was hesitation from the manufacturers’ side, we pushed for this as a mandatory provision.
In the next 2-3 months, we will come out with a notification on this and manufacturers failing to meet this condition won’t be allowed to sell their products,” a top ministry official said. He added that since manufacturers would need time to comply with this norm, the ministry plans to implement it all over the country in the next one year. Some car manufacturers sell factory-fitted CNG variants of its vehicles.
In case of almost all other petrolfueled cars, the owners get CNG or LPG kits installed from the open market. In recent years, more and more car owners have converted their petrol vehicles into CNG-fueled ones considering the lower fuel cost. Delhi and its suburbs, which account for a large part of the country’s cars, have witnessed a rising trend towards CNG in the past few years. This has been seen in other parts of the country also where CNG is available.
S P Singh of IRTFT, an independent transport research body, said the government had woken up late. “How come government allowed CNG kits to be sold in the market when these didn’t comply with standards? How could government realize the safety of vehicles with such substandard kits so late? It’s a positive step but it has come late after several accidents have happened and lives have been lost,” he said.