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Nimtoli to Bailey Road and how much tears!

Nimtoli to Bailey Road and how much tears!

Alok Acharja

At the beginning of the fire season, a terrible nightmare resurfaced in our memories. We already have many memories of fire deaths in our brains. Be it Nimtoli or Chawkbazar. Last year Bangabazar was burnt to ashes in a terrible fire. A terrible fire broke out in the eight-story building at Green Cozy Cottage on Bailey Road in the capital last Thursday (February 29) around 9:50 pm. 46 people died tragically in this incident.

The identity of 5 of them could not be confirmed. One of the most common accidents that we see in our country which causes everything from loss of life to huge loss of property is fire. Many of the high-rise buildings in the capital are dangerous and despite repeated warnings by the authorities, these buildings remain in that condition for some mysterious reason. These issues come to the fore when such accidents occur and loss of life occurs.

This building on Bailey Road is one such building. The Directorate of Fire Service and Civil Defense gave three notices to the building authority considering Green Cozy Cottage as dangerous for various reasons including safety. In such a big building, there is only one staircase and two elevators, and there is no firefighting system on any floor. In addition, the way the gas cylinders were placed on the stairs was a safety hazard. Are the owners of high-rise buildings in the capital aware of the fact that so many lives are being lost? A multi-storied building must have fire exits along with fire extinguishers. In case of fire or emergency, people can get out safely. But no such road is maintained in most cases. Not complying with building codes. As a result, the death toll is increasing. As there is no fire exit, people can be seen climbing down through windows or walls. Because they have to save their lives. Some have died while going down like this. Can't get down like this.

Although there are incidents of fire all over the country, there are frequent incidents of fire in the capital Dhaka. People have lost their last possessions and are standing on the road. A few other faces depend on these people. No one keeps the news of the end of the families without support until the end. Because before that another fire happened. Then everyone's attention goes to that incident. However, fires have become a common occurrence now. In the past, several major fires in the country and the loss of lives were caused by chemicals.

Fires also occur from short circuits, various carelessness, and even from discarded pieces of cigarettes. A gas cylinder explosion is to be responsible for the Bailey Road fire. The air became heavy with the screams of people burnt in the fire. Those moments are the most tragic. Many high-rise buildings in the country do not have adequate fire safety measures. Due to this damage is more. Recently, the report prepared by the Fire Service from January 1 to December 31, 2022, by inspecting various aspects of fire safety in buildings across the country shows that 37.87 percent of the country's buildings are at risk of fire.

In Dhaka, 54.67 percent of buildings are in danger of fire. According to the information published in the media, about 337 people died in a chemical fire in the country. Each incident brings back painful memories of the past. Every year in our country many people are died and injured due to fires in different parts of the country. According to a recent report, property worth 800 crore was burnt in a fire last year. There are 77 incidents of fire every day. Last year there were more than 27,500 fires. Of these, 9,813 fires occurred due to electrical disturbances. Also, there have been more fires from gas and wood fires. Most of the fire incidents happened in houses and residential buildings.

Also, according to the annual statistics of Fire Service and Civil Defense, in 2022, a loss of 342 crore 58 lakh taka, and 38 people were died in the event of fire. Also, 130 people were died in 2018, 184 common people and the following year and 154 common people were died in 2020. The highest number of people killed in fires occurred in 2021. 219 people were died that year. That is, in total, 772 ordinary people and 14 fire service and civil defense officers have been killed in the last 5 years till 2023.

Fires caused by chemicals have caused huge loss of life and property damage. Mistakes are coming out in searching behind every incident of people's loss of life, injury, and loss of property due to fires in our country. Negligence is find out after death. We are not in the habit of learning from the past. It is one thing if they follow that rule and another thing if they don't follow that rule.

In one year, this disaster caused a huge loss of life and property. The dreams of countless people have been burnt to ashes. Loss of life is just as damaging as when one's wealth is burned away when one's painstakingly built dreams are reduced to ashes. We don't want to see the death of a dream burned by fire. An inquiry committee is formed after each incident. In addition to finding out the cause of that incident, the report of the investigation committee also recommends that such incidents do not happen in the future. But what is happening? There is a fire somewhere. In a multi-story building, not in a slum or a market, etc.

Thus the amount of damage is also increasing. Everything will goes on as before. How long will this continue? How much tears! It will be possible to reduce fire accidents if you are a little aware. People need to be made aware of the common causes of fires across the country. Only then will the incidence of fire be reduced and so will the loss of life and other losses. Moreover, one more thing must be emphasized. After a fire, there should be an adequate supply of water to extinguish the fire. That is why reservoirs should be constructed at important places and water supply should be kept there so that sufficient water supply can be obtained from there during fire incidents. Fire service should be modernized with modern equipment.

The writer is a, Essayist and columnist Pabna

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