Chawkbazar plastic factory fire

Is negligence the villain?

Published : 16 Aug 2022 08:12 PM

We are shocked and saddened at the loss of lives in the polythene factory horrific fire in old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar area on Friday. At least six restaurant employees died in a deadly fire that ripped through a restaurant and a polythene factory at Kamalbagh in Chawkbazar of the city. Originating from a hotel and restaurant, the fire spread to the adjacent factory, burning everything to ashes.

All the six ill-fated people met the tragic end of their lives while sleeping in a room housed to the first floor after discharging their night duty. When the fire was brought under control, the fire fighters recovered their charred bodies from the room.

The latest Chawkbazar tragedy appears as a lesson for 

all businessmen especially those who manufacture polyphone 

bags, store risky and inflammable materials without any safety measures

Manufacturing or using of polythene and plastic bags is the total violation of Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act as polythene was banned in 2002. Earlier, the High Court also ordered the government to strictly enforce ban on polythene or throwaway plastic bags across the country through regular market monitoring. But showing thumbs to the administrations, many businessmen are still running polythene and plastic factories in old Dhaka and other parts of country illegally.

Three years back on February 20, 2019 at least 72 people were killed and hundred others injured in the deadly fire broke out at a chemical warehouse-prone Chawkbazar area in Old Dhaka. Besides, on June 03 in 2010, a devastating blaze at a chemical warehouse in old Dhaka’s Nimtoli area left 124 people dead.

The chemical warehouse, polythene and plastic factory, manufacturing of flammable products and narrow lanes have turned into potential death traps for people across the old Dhaka. Apart from factories, business houses, shops and offices in old Dhaka have no minimum fire safety measures.

When such a terrible fire or any other deadly accident occurs, administrations come up with various measures and promise that they would do everything in the future to avert any accident. But the authorities do not fulfill their commitments and remain silent spectators. 

We do not want to see the repetition of such tragic fire accident that continue taking people’s lives and ruining many families within moments. Such death is causing irreparable loss to every family of the victims. The government will have to take firm stance to remove inflammable and risky materials from any business establishments. The latest Chawkbazar tragedy appears as a lesson for all businessmen especially those who manufacture polyphone bags, store risky and inflammable materials without any safety measures. Therefore, all concerned must stay alert against recurrence of such fire incidents anywhere in the country.