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Panel steps on gas for auto LPG use

Mumbai, Aug. 24: An inter-ministerial committee to review the progress of introduction of auto LPG has recommended that conversion kits may also be allowed for vehicles registered before 1991 and that its validity period be increased to 7 years.

These relaxations are expected to not only boost the usage of auto LPG in the country but also encourage manufacturers of such conversion kits. These suggestions emerged at an inter-ministerial meeting held recently to discuss the woes of oil marketing companies who pointed out that there were problems in approval of conversion kits. As a result such kits are not readily available in the market.

The nationalised oil companies have complained that there are not many vehicles fitted with approved kits for dispensing auto LPG in the market and close to 31 auto LPG dispensing stations set up by them are lying idle. This snarl, they said, was largely due to conditional and restrictive approval of conversion kits by the testing agency that included stipulating the conversion kit for vehicles manufactured/registered from April 1, 1991 and a validity period of only three years. The norms do not allow conversion of older vehicles prior to 1991, which are incidentally the most polluting ones.

Therefore it was proposed that approved conversion kits be allowed for vehicles registered prior to 1991.

The country has three approved testing agencies for conversion kit that include Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun and Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar. These agencies issue approval certificates to manufacturers of conversion kits on condition that they would obtain approval from the Chief Controller of Explosives for every auto LPG tank and multi-functional valve assembly forming part of the conversion kit.

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