In an effort to minimise losses caused by fire incidents in export-oriented industries, the government has undertaken a move to set up 11 fire stations, especially for RMG factories.
To this end, the Tk 630 crore project proposal of security services division under the home ministry has recently got approval, said officials sources.
Two of the fire brigade stations will be erected in Ishwardi of Pabna and Maheshkhali of Cox’s Bazar respectively to give protection to the under-construction Rooppur nuclear power plant and Matarbari coal-fired power station.
Of other newly approved fire stations, seven will be set up in RMG hubs in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj while two will be set up in Karnaphuli and Khulshi areas of Chattogram.
There will a station in Dhaka’s Ashulia while two others will be set up at Fatulla and Sonargaon in Narayangaj. And four fire stations will be constructed in Gazipur intersection, Rajendrapur intersection, Konabari and Kashimpur areas under Gazipur district.
The initiative will ease the firefighting in randomly developed RMG hubs where it is now very tough to control the fire with no fire station in most of the factory areas.
Officials said the government has taken the move to ensure safety in case of industrial mishaps.
The project would be completed from January 2019 to December 2021 period with the fund coming from the government exchequer.
With the completion of the project, the number of fire incidents in RMG factories will go down as modern firefighting equipment will be collected alongside infrastructural development, sources said.
With the initiative, Rooppur nuclear power plant and Matarbari power plant will also be protected, the sources added.
Security services division says fire incidents in RMG factories are increasing day by day. During the last three years, the total losses in garment factories caused by fire were estimated at Tk 467 crore, according to official data.
Some independent estimates, however, suggest that more that 400 people has died by fire incidents since 1990.
The most devastating fire incident took place in Tazreen garment in Savar in November 2012 which left at least 112 people dead, mostly RMG workers, and over one hundred injured.