Chemical warehouses still prevalent in Old Dhaka

Take initiatives to relocate them urgently

Published : 25 Apr 2021 08:19 PM | Updated : 25 Apr 2021 10:33 PM

The fire at a chemical warehouse in the  capital's Armanitola that left four people dead and 25 others injured was only waiting to happen. Reportedly, this chemical warehouse on the ground floor of a six-storey building was set up illegally. It is learnt that the Fire Service and Civil Defense Department did not issue any license for the chemical warehouse in the building.

It is alarming to note that despite having a government ban on storing inflammable materials in residential houses, the malpractice of storing such goods/chemicals in old Dhaka is still going on in full swing.  Putting the lives of hundreds of people at severe risk various unscrupulous traders store inflammable chemicals there ignoring the government ban.

We should devise necessary 

measures to hold those responsible

persons to account who didn’t take any step to 

relocate the chemical warehouses despite specific 

directives from the government

In a developed country, allowing chemical factories in a densely urban space would have been regarded as a criminal offence. It is inconceivable as to how chemical storing and business is still going on there. Chemical warehouses from Old Dhaka should be relocated in no time to ensure that no tragedies like Chawkbazar and Nimtali take place in future.

However, it is worth mentioning that relocation of chemical warehouses has to be made in an organized way. Given that there are many departments involved in the import of chemicals, forming a national taskforce on fire safety is the need of the hour.

Earlier, the Nimtoli fire incident too had sparked huge public outcry, demanding the shifting of chemical warehouses and stores from the Old Dhaka, but little has been done in the last ten years. Therefore, we should devise necessary measures to hold those responsible persons to account who didn’t take any step to relocate the chemical warehouses despite specific directives from the government.