HDIP’s Asim Riaz to face disciplinary action over letters to OGRA



  • OGRA writes to Cabinet Division against Asim




Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) has taken a strong exception to the letters written by Asim Riaz, a senior research engineer at HDIP, to OGRA and ordered necessary disciplinary action against him for ‘his irresponsible attitude and willful misconduct’.

HDIP Director General Muhammad Shafeeq had written a letter in response to OGRA’s letter dated April 11, 2017, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, in which he stated that the contents of the letters written by Asim Riaz were thoroughly studied, discussed and analysed and the technical issues raised by him are not related to this institution.

It was stated that Asim Riaz has written a letter in his private capacity; however, by writing such letter he violated the official channel of communication, office discipline, general good order and service conduct; hence necessary disciplinary action is in hand for his irresponsible attitude and misconduct.

The letter reads, “OGRA is a well-respected organisation of the country, which is regulating the Oil and Gas sector efficiently.”

It is also clarified that HDIP under its act of 2006 has not been authorised either to perform such functions or to regulate issues highlighted in a private letter written by Asim, the letter added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Asim Riaz wrote a letter to OGRA Chairperson on March 16, 2017 in which he stated that OGRA is partly responsible for deaths in CNG and LPG sector, caused by gas cylinder blasts because it occurred due to its incompetence.

He wrote another letter to OGRA dated April 5, 2017 that petrol tanks of most of the public service vans were rusted as drivers run the vehicle only on CNG due to price differential and added that this improvisation was a result of OGRA’s failure to regulate the sector. He said that OGRA was supposed to be a watchdog for stakeholders, however, it turned out to be one that did not watch interests of some and extremely lenient to the others.

Furthermore, he wrote that the Chief Inspector of Explosives (CIE) does not have the technical manpower to approve the design of CNG storage cylinders and layout plan of CNG stations.

“OGRA fines and fee are ultimately paid from the pockets of the general public while OGRA officials enjoy executive pay scales which are manifolds than BPS of equivalent grade, besides fringe benefits, given to an average joe like me,” the letter reads.

In a tit-for-tat response, OGRA wrote letters to Cabinet Division and HDIP and requested to take action against him for levelling frivolous allegations and maligning OGRA as an incompetent regulator.

The authority in a letter written to the Cabinet Division stated that Asim Riaz used the name of its organisation in the covering letter and has even attributed the use of corroded petrol tanks and improvised petrol fuel systems in public service vehicles/vans to OGRA.

He tried to hold the authority responsible for things which have nothing to do with it as the use of petrol tanks or its associated fittings in a vehicle are certified by the Motor Vehicle Examiner, the Transport Department, the letter read.

Besides, the said officer has raised a number of issues on the pre-qualification process of LPG equipment manufacturers without complete knowledge on the subject and process being adopted, which is highly regretted.

“We request that such irresponsible letters may be probed and necessary action may be taken accordingly,” the letter reads.

OGRA has not been mandated, under its Ordinance 2002, to check every vehicle plying on road, its fitness and road worthiness. Most accidents in CNG/LPG sectors have occurred due to illegal and substandard practices carried out by ignorant persons. Since, these LPG cylinders are made of poor quality sheets and other substandard material which cause unfortunate loss of human lives, as well as damage to public property.

OGRA does not have the policing powers, therefore, the Provincial governments in this regard are requested regularly to take strict action under the law against the person involved in the illegal manufacturing substandard LPG, CNG equipment cylinders.

“HDIP is requested to inform this office the action, if any, taken in light of the letter of OGRA dated 30-3- 2017. Furthermore, HDIP is also requested to furnish its official verdict on the enclosed letter and its contents, written by the said officer, at the earliest please,” OGRA letter reads.