Frequent Fire Incidents in Old Dhaka

Building owners’ greed puts lives at risk: BIP

Staff Correspondent

30 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Building owners’ greed puts lives at risk: BIP

Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) said greedy building owners in old Dhaka are responsible for fire disasters, as they rent out residential buildings to hazardous chemical businesses to gain more benefit.

General Secretary of BIP Adil Mohammed Khan said this in a virtual press conference on Thursday.

He also lambasted the government for their failure to relocate the hazardous chemical businesses.

He said chemical businesses are running in many residential buildings in violation of rules, which also put lives of tenants at risk.

“The businesses in the heart of the capital are running for years without trade license from City Corporation. But none is monitoring how the chemical is being imported and hoarded.” 

It’s been 11 years since the Nimotli fire tragedy took place, but the risky businesses are not relocated from old Dhaka yet despite repeated warnings from different agencies including the BIP, he said.

If the government cared about lives and property, the situation might be different, he said.

Referring to Beirut explosion in 2020, Adil said it is an example of how deadly a chemical explosion can be. Over 25,000 chemical businesses in old Dhaka may result in a deadly explosion anytime, he added.

BIP demanded an inquiry into why the chemical warehouses of old Dhaka could not be relocated yet and punishment of those responsible for the delay in the process.