IRF urges road ministry for strict rules for retro-fitment of CNG kits in vehicles

Currently, under the CNG retro-fitment technique, the gas tank, fuel lines, injection system and electricals are retro-fitted to a vehicle that is not designed for CNG, threatening lives, IRF said.

By:September 2, 2020 7:00 PM

In order to ensure safety on roads, the global body IRF has urged the government for issuing strict regulations, including digital monitoring compliance, for retro-fitment of CNG kits in vehicles. Currently, under the CNG retro-fitment technique, the gas tank, fuel lines, injection system and electricals are retro-fitted to a vehicle that is not designed for CNG, threatening lives, it said. “The International Road Federation (IRF) has urged the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to formulate and immediately notify strict technical requirements including digital monitoring compliance for retro-fitment of CNG kits in the cars already on the roads,” IRF said in a statement. The MoRTH has worked in bringing in the legislative and regulatory environment towards saving human lives, IRF said. The Geneva-based global road safety body added that European crash test regulation, Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, regulations for airbags, and seatbelt reminders are some major examples.

“On similar lines, the need of the hour by the ministry is to bring in strict regulations and framework for retro-fitments of CNG kits in vehicles,” said K K Kapila, president emeritus, IRF. Kapila added that out of over 1.8 million CNG light vehicles currently plying the roads, which include passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles, 60-65 per cent are those retrofitted in the aftermarket. “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 was not designed for CNG. The CNG kit manufactures supply ‘unapproved and uncertified’ CNG fuel kits.”

IRF said the government and the private sector are said to have invested thousands of crores of rupees in setting up facilities to carry out the tests to save human life. “It is, however, with great regret that we notice the auto companies in total pursuit of profits, turn a blind eye to human life, in collusion with CNG retro-fitters who are flouting the safety norms by fitment of non-compliant CNG kits on vehicles,” Kapila said adding that the ministry has initiated some steps in this regard. He said CNG is a clean fuel and should be encouraged due to pollution concerns as long as it does not affect the safety of car occupants and other pedestrians on the road as per the crash test and other applicable standards instituted by MoRTH.

“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,” he added. Kapila added that 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 do not run close to the battery.

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