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6 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Commercial establishments lack fire safety measures

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Pirojpur
Commercial establishments lack fire safety measures

As much as 95 per cent of the commercial establishments in this district have not obtained the mandatory licence from the fire department. Many government offices, NGOs and semi-government organisations do not even have any fire-fighting equipment on their premises.

There are about 8,000 different types of commercial establishments, including sawmills, rice mills and oil mills, in seven upazilas of the district. Of them, only 836 shops have such mandatory licences. It has been alleged that many traders have been operating their businesses without the mandatory licence.

Fire department officials say they have campaigned several times to make businessmen aware of the fire-safety system.

When contacted, Altaf Hossain, team leader of the Pirojpur fire department, has said that over the past six years, 240 residential and commercial establishments have caught fire in the district. Among them, 31 were in 2012, 40 in 2013, 42 in 2014, 39 in 2016, 32 in 2016, and 56 were in 2017.

Seventeen people have been killed and 127 injured in these fire incidents. Properties worth about Tk. 4 crore have been damaged.

Abdus Salam Sikder, president of the Nelsarabad (Sawrupkathi) Upazila Trade Association, has said there are about 3,000 business establishments in Miyar hat and Indu hat in the upazila. Not a single commercial establishment has obtained the mandatory licence from the fire department, he has added.

Md Shamsul Alam, president of Mathbaria Upazila Bonik Samity, has said there are 15,000 business establishments in Mathbaria, but only seven of them have such licences from the fire department. There are about 1,300 commercial establishments in Kawkhali upazila sadar. Of these, 50 have fire safety devices.

Md Arifur Rahman Sabuj, general secretary of Nazirpur Upazila Bonik Samity, has said that among 400 commercial establishments in the upazila, only 10–15 shops have fire-fighting equipment.

Kabir Hossain, a grocer of Pirojpur district town, has said he has been not aware of any necessity for obtaining a licence from the fire department. He, however, has affirmed that he would soon get the licence from the fire department.

Warehouse inspector of the fire department (Barisal-Jhalakathi-Pirojpur), Mohammad Firoz Ahmed, has said that only 834 commercial establishments in Pirojpur district have licences from the fire department. “It's mandatory to have fire extinguishers in sawmills, oil mills, garments stores, pharmacies, libraries, stationery shops, groceries and gas stores. There are also provisions for financing the businessmen if they cannot afford the fire-fighting equipment,” he has added.

He has also said that anyone violating the law would get a maximum of three years' imprisonment, fines and confiscation of goods. The owner of Zubair Enterprise on Pirojpur Sadar Road has been sent to prison for seven days and fined Tk. 5,000 by a mobile court for failing to produce the fire licence, he has added.

Mohammad Firoz Ahmed has said many government and semi-government offices do not have fire extinguishers.

“It’s just lack of awareness. If the offices or commercial establishments have fire extinguishers, many accidents can be averted,” he has added.

Golam Maola Naqib, general secretary of the Pirojpur District Traders' Association, said letters would be sent to all traders, asking them to have fire extinguishers and licences from the fire department.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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