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Friday, November 27, 2020 11:13:01 PM
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Slum fires - accident or sabotage!

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28th-Nov-2020       
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It is unfortunate that the capital city had to witness three more disastrous fires in three separate places within only ten days of this month, claiming lose of huge livelihoods. Thankfully, in these three latest fire incidents, no life was lost.
At the same time, the country also witnessed two terrible infernos in two power sub-stations - one at Kumargaon station in Sylhet and another at Kewatkhali station in Mymensingh. Because of the blaze at Kumargaon power station, electricity supply to Sylhet, Sunamganj and Hobiganj districts remained snapped for several days, throwing the entire population of the three districts in total darkness.
According to a news report on Friday, security experts have observed that these sorts of slum fire incidents generally occur to change hands that usually build on government lands or to take control over of the lands. These fire incidents do not look usual, rather sabotage.
The slum dwellers, however, suspected that fire incidents were nothing but sabotage to evict them to build multi-storied building there. Occasionally, fires also originate from gas and electricity leakage, allegedly provided there illegally.
If the fear of fires in old Dhaka lurks around the corner, so does it in every slum as around 40 lakh people hurdle together in different slums in the city where shanties are more or less a makeshift arrangement. In a situation like this, when fire broke out people lose all their belongings.
Meanwhile, a data of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence has revealed that at least 16,000 shanties burnt down across the country, mostly in Dhaka city, from 2010 to 2018, claiming about 1,590 lives and burning of property worth Tk 4,000 crore.
In a city like Dhaka, it is growing unfortunately as an unplanned and hazardous way. Being the hub of all economic activities, the city compels people belonging of all strata to live here and construct high-rise buildings, temporary shades in slums, industries, shopping malls etc.
To build a secure and peaceful city, we have to ensure all level security. Integrated approach of all service delivery organisations should be properly implemented.
We should not afford to be callous or ignorant when it comes to the issue of safety and security whether in slums or in high-rise buildings.

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