Shops open at Bangabazar market on Wednesday

Photo shows ruins of the capital’s Bangabazar market being removed on 10 April 2023.
Prothom Alo

Six days after the huge fire burnt the capital Bangabazar market to ashes, leaders of the Bangabazar Complex Shop Owners Association said on Monday the debris from fire will be removed on Tuesday and traders will start setting up makeshift shops from Wednesday.

The association leader said traders will be allotted temporary shops on the ground floor of the complex from Wednesday. Traders said if they are allowed to open makeshift shops they can anyhow open business since fire destroyed everything; or else, their families would starve.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Bangabazar Complex Shop Owners Association joint secretary Shahadat Hossain said the Dhaka South City Corporation mayor will inaugurate temporary shops.

The Bangabazar complex is a three-storied building and they have arranged for traders who ran business at the ground floor for the time being, he added.

Trader Md Faysal spoke to Prothom Alo standing on the ashes of the market.

Photo shows ruins of the capital’s Bangabazar market being removed on 10 April 2023.
Prothom Alo

He said he wants to resume his business, borrowing money from family members and friends once he will be allotted a space. Otherwise, he would not be able to run his family.

During an on-spot visit, a temporary police outpost was seen in front of Annex Tower in Bangabazar campus with barricade installed there. People were crossing the road on foot, debris being removed by trucks and street people collecting various materials from ruins of the building.

Despite the huge fire, several shops remain undamaged on the ground, the first and the second floors of the Annex Tower with traders already reopening their shops.

Trader Nazmul Huda reopened his shop ‘Bikrampur Garments’ on the ground floor of the building. He told Prothom Alo on Monday afternoon sales is low now, but had if everything been alright, sales usually would cross Tk 100,000 a day.

A huge fire broke out at Bangabazar market on last Tuesday burning down about 5,000 shops and causing damage of about Tk 10 billion, according to traders.

Human chain for donation

Owners of garment factories from Dhaka and its neighbourhood supplied clothes to shops of Bangabazar market and these shopowners own huge money to those factory owners.

Shop owners affected in the fire are receiving donation from private and government sector, but their suppliers are getting nothing.

Factory owners and workers from nearby Alubazar and Siddique Bazar formed a human chain in front of the ruins of Bangabazar market demanding grants from the government.

Md Jahangir Alam, who owns a factory in Alubazar, joined the event. He told Prothom Alo owners of the affected shops cannot pay their dues, but the shop owners more or less are receiving donations.

“But, we supplied products to this market and have thousands of taka due. Since we are not getting this money, we cannot pay our workers’ salary, and that is why we want funds from the government,” he added.