Cylinder suppliers in trouble for street vendors' violations

Updated: Dec 26, 2018, 08:49 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

The ward officer (R central), Ramakanth Biradar, told mid-day that his office has filed an FIR against a local distributor who had supplied an LPG to a vendor on rent

The fire in Nargis Dutt Nagar slum in Bandra West in October this year was reportedly caused by a cooking gas cylinder blast
The fire in Nargis Dutt Nagar slum in Bandra West in October this year was reportedly caused by a cooking gas cylinder blast

Cooking gas cylinders that are rampantly used at roadside food joints are now going to land the cylinder suppliers in trouble, along with the food vendor. The first FIR in this regard was filed in Borivli two days ago.

The order came after repeated raids by the BMC failed to stop the illegal usage of cylinders on footpaths, posing a serious threat of fire and related mishaps. BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta has instructed ward officers to track the suppliers to address this issue.

According to the civic chief's notice, all assistant commissioners are to ensure that no cooking is allowed on the streets. "If any hawker is found using LPG cylinders without the required permissions, an FIR shall be lodged against the distributor and concerned gas supply company, and the matter shall be referred to the law officer for filing contempt against all concerned," says the notice issued on December 4, 2018. As per the directives of the Bombay High Court, cooking on footpaths is illegal. "This new regulation will help us in reaching the root of the issue," said a senior BMC officer.

First FIR in Borivli
The ward officer (R central), Ramakanth Biradar, told mid-day that his office has filed an FIR against a local distributor who had supplied an LPG to a vendor on rent. "These distributors work as a chain. So, A will supply to B, then he would supply to C and later, it gets delivered to the vendors. It is tough to track back the source distributors but it is not impossible. It is the work of the police to find out," he added.

However, distributors said that it would be unfair to blame them as often a second party supplies it in the market without their knowledge. "As a supplier, it is our responsibility to supply cylinder to a person who has all the required documents. But people later give it on rent without our knowledge. How are we supposed to know that? If we are blamed for it without even committing the crime, it is unfair," said Sudhir Mishra, a Borivli -based distributor.

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