POST TIME: 22 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Take caution from Wednesday’s fire

Take caution from Wednesday’s fire

It is worrying to note that fire incidents are occurring in the capital time and again inflicting huge losses. On Wednesday, a fire broke out at Rajdhani Super Market in the capital’s Tikatuli area and gutted at least 20 shops. Twenty-five units, comprising one hundred eighty firefighters, doused the blaze around 6:40pm. The reason behind the blaze could not be known.

With the onset of winter, everything is getting dry. Most of the fire incidents usually occur during this season. That is why the fire fighting agency as well as people in general ought to remain more conscious during the period. As fire originates mainly from kitchens, burning cigarette stubs, electric short circuit, etc, extra caution is necessary about these things. The buildings in old Dhaka and garments factories are particularly vulnerable to fire. Most tragic incidents of fire of the country occurred in these places.

After the catastrophic fire in the Nimtali area of Old Dhaka in 2010 that had killed 124 people, the relevant authorities swung into action to remove inflammable materials but that effort was short-lived and not successful. The follow-up programmes did not see the light of day. It is very unfortunate. The Nimtoli fire was followed by several other fires in the capital claiming many lives and causing property losses.   

After the fire at Nimtoli, the government issued a directive to shift all chemical godowns out of the old part of the city. But a few godowns were shifted, ironically from one densely populated residential area to another. What difference did it make? Why is this apathy of the traders to the instruction of the relevant authorities? It shows that the keepers of the highly combustible chemicals do not have minimum respect for the rule of law. Owners of some godowns got away after paying fines, as if they got licence to keep combustible materials disregarding the administration. The owners of godowns containing inflammable chemicals should be reined in immediately. They cannot be allowed to play with human lives. Who can tell that another tragedy like the one at Nimtoli will not occur any time taking a huge toll of lives?