Why the Feb 17th LPG ad by Government is very WRONG


By

Sudhir Bisht
Freelancer Sudhir Bisht is the Director of a Telecoms Infrastructure company
and has years of experience in oil sector too.
Send feedback at
sudhir_bisht@rediffmail.com
 



The Times Of India, Delhi edition carried a half-page advertisement on page 5 on February 17th edition which shows two women, one old and the other young, making chapattis on a LPG stove.

The Chairperson UPA, Mrs. Gandhi and the Prime Minister are also there on the top corner of the advertisement, smiling benignly.

The older woman in the advertisement is saying, "Now, cooking food brings a smile to my face and not tears in my eyes"

The advertiser is the government of India which is blowing its trumpet (very justifiably, I feel) by announcing that under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural LPG Distribution Scheme, many rural districts have blessed with LPG agencies and by 2015 almost 75% rural areas will achieve LPG availability.

I am sure that considerable amount of money must have been spent on conceiving this ad and putting together the final artwork.  The publishing cost in TOI is also substantial but this advertisement has one major FLAW.

The advertisement completely ignores the safety aspect of the position of the LPG cylinder in respect to the LPG burner.

1. LPG or liquefied Petroleum gas is a propone-butane mixture and a special additive mercaptan is added to it to give it a rotten-egg like odor. This makes it possible to detect the leakage if any.

2. Since  LPG is heavier than air, its leakage from the cylinder, valve or from the rubber tube can lead to accumulation of LPG in the floor area.

3. Even if there is minor leakage in the LPG system then lot of combustible LPG can accumulate on the floor and even near the burner area, if the LPG burner plate is kept on the floor.

4. The mere lighting up of a match stick will lead to an explosion and the floor area would be engulfed with fire in case of any small leakage.

5. If however the LPG burner is kept at a level higher than the cylinder level, then the chances of such mishaps are a bit reduced. This is because the gas has accumulated at the floor level while the match stick is lit away from the leaked accumulated gas.

Government oil companies organize safety clinics for LPG consumers frequently and this aspect of keeping the LPG burners at a level above the LPG cylinders is much emphasized during the clinics.

The advertisement violates the following two basic tenets of LPG safety:

  • The LPG stove must always be installed on kitchen slab at height above the cylinder
  • The cylinder must be kept away from other sources of heat

The government agency responsible for the advertisement has ignored these  basic safety issues in the advertisement and the lapse is very glaring. It is hoped that the stakeholders concerned will do more research before placing such advertisements in future.
 


Sudhir Bisht
Freelancer Sudhir Bisht is the Director of a Telecoms Infrastructure company
and has years of experience in oil sector too.
Send feedback at
sudhir_bisht@rediffmail.com
 

Source: E-mail February 25, 2011

 

         

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