January 7, 2021

Killer gas heaters: No quality checks, no awareness

The gas heaters used lavishly during winters are taking away precious human lives day in and day out during harshest winter period of “Chillaikalan” as deaths caused by the asphyxiation by use of gas heaters are showing an alarming rise in valley year after year. The death of three members of a family at Nehalpora Pattan is yet another wake up call for the government but unfortunately non from the government bothers to take note of such incidents for the purposes of an investigation and an appropriate follow up action.  Unfortunately neither the government takes note of the manufacturing defects in gas heaters becoming the cause of asphyxiation leading to deaths nor the people take precautions while gas heaters and more so during night. While the carelessness of the users by all probabilities is to be blamed for the deaths caused due to asphyxiation by the use of gas heaters, the people are blindly purchasing locally made gas heaters from the local sales outlets to risk their lives during chilly months of winter in valley. Though it would have been better for the people to avoid use of gas heaters during the night as in most of the case people die due to asphyxiation by use of gas heaters during night hours only, but they use it more during night only to risk their lives and unfortunately most of such people have died due to asphyxiation during nights in recent years. Ironically people don’t keep off their gas heaters for the purposes of their own safety during night when there are higher chances of asphyxiation. Unfortunately the people don’t take precautions even after knowing it that hundreds of people have died due to asphyxiation by use of gas heaters during chilly cold months of winter in recent years. While the people have to take precautions while using gas heaters during night, the government too has to look into the manufacturing defects in such brands of gas heaters which obviously show rise in the chances of asphyxiation. Though some brands of gas heaters may have little chances of leakages but gas heaters manufactured locally are proving fatal for the people in valley as reports of deaths caused by asphyxiation due to use of gas heaters are reported every winter from one or other district of Kashmir valley .

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Since the consumer protection is the domain of the Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs department in Jammu & Kashmir the directorate in Kashmir has an institutional and administrative obligation to take an urgent call over the manufacture of defective gas heaters by local manufacturing units in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir valley.

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The government owes explanations for the sale of locally manufactured gas heaters for lavish use both at commercial places and as well as residential houses. The manufacturing of the gas heaters by the local manufacturing units and their sale at local sales outlets has to be stopped by the government immediately and even a blanket ban on the manufacture of gas heaters by local manufacturing units has to be stopped to reduce the chances of asphyxiation. Since the consumer protection is the domain of the Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs department in Jammu & Kashmir the directorate in Kashmir has an institutional and administrative obligation to take an urgent call over the manufacture of defective gas heaters by local manufacturing units in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir valley. Unless and until the government does not seal the local manufactures of defective gas heaters, the deaths caused by use of gas heaters can’t be stopped.

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