IRF urges Centre to formulate “technical requirements” for retro-fitment of CNG kits

New Delhi, Sep 2 : Global road safety body International Road Federation (IRF) has urged the Centre to formulate and immediately notify “technical requirements including digital monitoring compliance” for retro-fitment of CNG kits in cars which are already on the roads.

Accordingly, the Geneva based global road safety body urged the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to formulate and immediately notify strict technical requirements.

“Out of over 1.8 million CNG light vehicles which includes passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles plying on the roads today, 60-65 per cent are those retrofitted in the aftermarket,” K.K. Kapila, President Emeritus, International Road Federation, was quoted as saying in a statement.

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“Under the CNG retro-fitment technique that is followed, the gas tank, fuel lines, injection system and the electricals are retro-fitted on to a vehicle which wasn’t designed for CNG. The CNG kit manufactures supply ‘unapproved and uncertified CNG fuel kits’.”

According to Kapila, CNG should be encouraged because of pollution concerns as long as it does not affect the safety of the car occupants and other pedestrians on the road as per the crash test and other applicable standards instituted by MoRTH.

“First, on the main objective of pollution control itself, we are not sure whether retrofitted CNG cars have any benefit in pollution reduction. This is because a standard kit is fitted on a wide variety of engines or vehicles without any change in engine tuning or programming and post-fitment, the car is never tested, whether one-time or for conformity of production,” he said.

“Retro-fitment of a CNG kit involves adding a weight of about 100 kg in the boot of the car. It involves force fitting of fuel lines and electrical wire connections into the car on a car design which was not originally meant to accommodate these. Post-fitment, there is no testing to ensure that the brakes will perform the same way, the crash test safety will be at the same level, the fuel lines don’t run close to the battery, etc and many such technical safety requirements are met.”

There have been numerous reports of retrofitted CNG cars going up in flames on the roads, alleged the IRF.

“Many times while making electrical connections, instead of a spring-loaded coupler which ensures proper contact, trader-retrofitter to save a few rupees, have asked mechanics to peel off the wire insulation and tie the wires together in a ‘jugaad’,” the statement said.

“These wires have loose contact and many times start sparking. CNG is inflammable at room temperature and this spark is sufficient to blow up the car in flames within seconds. Sometimes, the car inmates do not get adequate time to jump off the car.”

In addition, the IRF said MoRTH should strictly enforce digital monitoring of fitment of CNG kits throughout the country to ensure that only those components are used in retro fitment as are type “Approved” by test agencies.

“If they want to use CNG kits, let them prove their designs and systems through proper testing by test agencies as per norms prescribed under CMVR which are similar to UNECE regulations which are internationally recognised,” the statement said.

“We need to put a foolproof regime in place or else we keep compromising safety at the cost of human lives, charred to death in the event of cars catching fire, in the absence of an appropriate kit and its retrofitting.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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