Gas cylinders in Thailand's south to be changed for security

Gas cylinders in Thailand's south to be changed for security
PHOTO: The New Paper

RESTAURANTS and households in the three southern border provinces and four Songkhla districts have been urged to gradually change from using the 15-kilogram metal cooking-gas cylinder to the 11kg composite-plus cylinder before the October 1, 2016, deadline.

This change has been introduced for security purposes.

An owner of a cooking-gas shop in Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district told The Nation that people were already making the change.

But while households will not have any trouble making the switch - with the composite cylinder costing Bt340 (S$13) compared to Bt435 for a metal cylinder - restaurants have complained the composite cylinder is too small.

Cooking-gas shop owners are worried about their business being affected, because some operators have been refilling metal gas cylinders for their customers, especially for restaurants. Restaurants prefer the metal ones because they are bigger.

She also urged the government to extend this policy regionwide. Staff at a cooking-gas shop in Pattani's Sai Buri district said the business made the shift to selling the composite cylinder a year ago as most cylinders are supplied by PTT Pcl.

However, they said there is a limited number of composite cylinders - which are only provided by PTT - meaning the changeover has occurred at a slow pace.

Safer option

The move will make the public safer as metal gas cylinders are often used in bomb attacks in the restive region, Colonel Pramote Phrom-in, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Front Command, said yesterday.

He said the "necessary" transition according to government guidelines on public safety had resulted in the Front Command discussing the matter with relevant agencies and it had being resolved that all residents in the deep South should gradually shift to the composite cylinder.

He said metal cylinders would be recalled gradually and allocated for use outside this region, and strict controls on the cylinders inside and outside the region will be implemented. LPG refilling factories and stations will be monitored to prevent gas smuggling, he added.

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