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1 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Gulshan market fire

Owners claim loss of Tk 100cr

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Business owners claimed that they have lost around Tk. 100 crore in the massive fire that swept through the Gulshan-1 Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) kitchen market and burned down at least 210 shops last Saturday. Nearly 300 businesspersons lost their investment in the fire, which originated before sunrise on Saturday morning.

Most of the shopkeepers were yet to reach the market when the fire incident occurred. There was a massive fire incident at the market on January 3, 2017. Almost all the shops were gutted at that time. When the disaster occurred again this week at the same market, some businessmen lost their investment twice in a short span of time.  A chart was prepared about the loss incurred by the each of the businessperson at a makeshift information centre erected by Gulshan police station.

From that chart, it could be gathered that the total loss stands at around Tk. 100 crore.

Rabeya Sultana, who owned six shops at the DNCC kitchen market, rushed to the scene after being informed about the deadly fire.

She said the fire has taken everything from them. She could not hold back her tears as she suffered the same fate back in 2017 at the market.

“We have lost everything. Just 15 days ago, we bought products worth Tk. 6 lakh. We took out loans amounting to Tk. 12 lakh,” she said.

“I don’t know what to do now. We were able to turn things around the last time. But I am not sure what will happen now,” she added.

After the fire incident, several authorities are blaming each other.

Maj. Shakil Newaj, operation and maintenance director of the Fire Service Headquarters, told reporters that the DNCC market authorities ignored the recommendations made by the Fire Service after the previous fire at the market in 2017. “We told the authorities to take steps for ensuring fire safety at the market. But the market authorities filed a writ with the court against us,” he said.

However, DNCC Kitchen Market Association president Din Mohammad told the Independent that businessmen did not provide any help to the city corporation in the aftermath of the 2017 fire. “We had to build the market again with bamboo, tin and tarpaulin,” he said.

All of his 22 shops in the market were gutted in Saturday’s fire.

When asked, the businesspersons said they are not sure if the city corporation would eventually help them to recover their losses.

Regarding the proposal to build a multi-city market in this place, Din Mohammad said: “We have no objection if a multi-storied market is constructed. But we have to be the part of that decision.”

Visiting the scene yesterday, this correspondent found some temporary traders selling whatever they had salvaged from the fire. These traders were selling their goods on the footpath alongside the market.

On Saturday, a fire broke out at the DNCC market at Gulshan-1 around 5:45 am and later spread to the third floor of the adjacent Gulshan market.

The fire was doused completely around 10:30 am. No casualties were reported. But many shops were gutted at the kitchen market.

Sources at the Fire Service and Civil Defence said that 20 fire-fighting units brought the blaze under control around 8:25 am.

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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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