Thursday, May 31, 2007


GANGTOK, NAMCHI, May 30: Sikkim Police, together with personnel from Food Department are continuing with their crackdown on illegal use of domestic cylinders and unhygienic kitchens throughout the State.

There has been continual seizure of domestic cylinders from hotels and restaurants followed by arrest of its proprietors in the last few days, along with cases registered against several hotels under Section 269/ 273 of Indian Penal Code for unhygienic conditions at its food processing counters.

On May 29, the Gyalshing Police raided Hotel Newa in Lower Pelling and found domestic cylinders in use in the Hotel and also found its kitchen in unhygienic conditions. The Police thereafter seized two domestic cylinders from the Hotel and arrested A Chakraborty, the in-charge of the Hotel under Section 269 of the IPC.

The Gyalshing Police also detained the proprietor of Kanchendzonga Hotel in Pelling for using three domestic cylinders. Likewise, two domestic cylinders were seized from Swagat Hotel, three each from Hotel Phamrong, Hotel Norbugang and Hotel Karma at Lower Pelling.

Three more cylinders were seized from Hotel Yangthang at Pelling followed by detention of the proprietor of Hotel Panorama and Khanchendzonga Restaurant cum Fast Food on the same charges. All the cases were register under Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act 1955.

On May 29, the Ravangla Police seized domestic cylinders and arrested the proprietor Harka Bahadur Manger of Hotel Mt Gochala, Tshering Ongdup of Hotel Friends Corner and Tibetan Ongba of Hotel Ongba. The Ravangla Police also handed out challans to two persons under Section 19 of Sikkim Trade Rule 1985.

The South District in the last couple of days also saw major raids in hotels and fast food centres at Namchi and Jorethang. The Namchi Police seized 11 domestic LPG cylinders and 8 LPG stoves from the various hotels in Namchi till today evening. Meanwhile Hotel Tenzing at Jorethang road was sealed down after it was found operating without a license by the raiding team.

Speaking to SIKKIM EXPRESS, DIG Range, Akshay Sachdeva informed that a meeting was held here in Gangtok today at the conference hall of Police Head Quarters between officers of STCS and the Police.

Commercial establishments will be given one month’s time to start suing commercial cylinders after which, stringent measures will initiated against those found using domestic cylinders, Mr. Sachdeva said.

The Area Manager Siliguri of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, in a communiqué, dated July 17, 2007 to the Chief Secretary, says that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India had issued a notification stating the purpose of subsidised domestic LPG for cooking and clarified that diversion of domestic LPG for commercial purpose is illegal and attracts penalties.

The Notification of Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas states non-domestic 19 kgs cylinders are to be used for commercial purpose. If anyone caught misusing domestic cylinders, they can be imprisoned up to 7 years together with fines under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Control Order-2001, reads the notification.