LAHORE: 67 petrol pumps and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations were issued no-objection certificates (NOCs) by the explosives department in the provincial capital during the past 10 years.
Interestingly, only two complaints were registered against these newly-established pumps and stations during the past decade. Taking action on one of these complaints, the district administration sealed one petrol pump near Bhatta Chowk over the unavailability of a licence.
According to a letter written by the district administration to the Punjab Information Commission (PIC), an NOC for the establishment of a petrol pump is issued by the district petrol pump committee and subsequently, a licence is issued by the explosives department. Therefore, according to the letter, the office of Lahore DC is practically net in practice as to whether licences were granted by the explosives department or otherwise. The district administration also sought a list of petrol pumps from the explosives department.
Moreover, as per the new policy, the DCO is no longer empowered to grant NOC for the establishment of petrol pumps and CNG stations. However, if any person or entity violates the rules and regulations, the action is taken against them.
When the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (ORGA), explosives department or a private person files a complaint to the district administration, the complaints are examined by a sub-division of the assistant commissioner’s office and if they are found to be genuine, they are immediately addressed and necessary action is taken.
When contacted, District Commissioner (DC) Afzal Danish told Pakistan Today that the reason behind the low number of complaints was the explosives department’s proactive attitude of resolving issues on their own, whereas those related to enforcement are brought to his department for resolution. “We quickly resolve these to avoid unnecessary accumulation,” he added.
When asked about the mushrooming of illegal petrol pumps, he said that the department’s teams were actively taking action against them but they somehow resumed operations by approaching civil judges.