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POST TIME: 8 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 March, 2019 11:16:57 PM
“Businesses can keep showrooms, sell products in Old Dhaka, but a separate, safe place will be arranged to store flammable items”
No chemical godown to be allowed in Old Dhaka, says PM
Fire at Old Dhaka tyre warehouse doused after 2hrs
UNB, Dhaka

No chemical godown to be allowed in Old Dhaka, says PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her government's firm stance to remove the godowns of inflammable materials from Old Dhaka and other residential areas of the capital. "Such inflammable materials can't be allowed to be here. We're looking for a separate place for them (businessmen). But we don't want to ruin their businesses. But no chemical godown can be allowed to be there in residential areas," she said referring to the recent Chawkbazar fire incident that killed 71 people.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing the oath-taking programme of the newly elected mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation and 50 newly elected councillors of DNCC and Dhaka South City Corporation at the Prime Minister's Office in the city. Pointing at DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon, who was present at the programme, Sheikh Hasina said the recent fire incident in Old Dhaka is very painful.

She said, "The businessmen (of inflammable products) can keep their showrooms and sell their

products here. But we'll arrange a completely separate place for godowns where inflammable materials would be safe."

Mentioning the Nimtoli fire incident that took place in 2010, the Prime Minister said many people lost their lives in the two fire incidents in Chawkbazar and Nimtoli areas.

"So, we won't accept any obstacle in this regard," she warned.

The Prime Minister asked the new DNCC Mayor and councillors of the two city corporations of Dhaka to perform responsibilities showing due respect to the people who kept trust and confidence in them.

Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for increasing own revenue generation of the city corporations of the country to render desired services to the city dwellers.

"City corporations will have to try to stand on their own. They'll have to increase their own incomes," she said adding that once Chattogram City Corporation was self-dependent when ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury was its mayor.

Describing Dhaka as very densely populated mega city, she put emphasis on continuous cleaning of public toilets, bus terminals, railway stations and other public places under the two city corporations.

Besides, the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to develop roads, as well as water and sanitation systems in a planned manner.

She stressed the need for maintaining austerity in using water and electricity, and urged the city dwellers not to misuse that.

Talking about the city's slum-dwellers, the Prime Minister said the government has a plan to construct multi-storeyed buildings for the slum-dwellers so that they lead a better life in the slums. The slum-dwellers can pay the rent of the flats living in the multi-storeyed buildings on daily, weekly and monthly basis. The rent will also be affordable for the slum dwellers, she said.

Hasina said the government will also construct the multi-storeyed buildings for cleaning workers of DNCC like those of DSCC.

She mentioned that the construction of four multi-storey buildings have been completed for DSCC cleaning workers as total 13 multi-storey buildings will be constructed for them.

About the stranded Bihari people, Hasina said the government has a plan to construct residential flats for Bihari people as they are leading an inhumane life in the city.

She said there are many Bihari people here who had expressed allegiance to Pakistan but Pakistan never took them back from Bangladesh. Now they along with their third and fourth generations are leading inhumane life in camps including Geneva camp in the city, she said.

"We've already started searching place for them. We'll construct flats for them so that they can lead life in good manner," she said.

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam and state minister for LGRD Swapan Bhattacharyee were present.

Our Staff Reporter adds: Only after 15 days of Chawkbazar devastating fire that claimed 71 lives so far, another fire broke out at a warehouse of tyre in Nawabpur area of Old part of the capital yesterday afternoon.

After two hours of frantic efforts, five firefighting units doused the blaze at around 3:30pm. The origin of the fire could not be identified immediately, said a fire official.

Khurshid Anwar, senior station officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters, told The Independent that being informed, five firefighting units rushed to the warehouse near the Manoshee Cinema Hall where the fire originated around 2:30pm.  

After two hours of frantic efforts, the fighters doused the blaze. “However, no one was injured in the fire,” said the official.

Valuables worth Tk 5 lakh were gutted by the fire and Tk 50 lakh were recovered, added the official.

Earlier on 20 February, a deadly fire broke out at a chemical warehouse in the capital's Chawkbazar area which was one of the deadliest fire outbreaks in the country’s history.

The chemical-fed fire spread through five buildings in Chawkbazar. Fire fighters said they recovered 67 bodies from the spot. The four others died when they were being treated for their burn injuries.  

Meanwhile, to avert further fire incident and evict chemical warehouses from different points in Old Dhaka, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) taskforce have been conducting drive.