There is no one to answer this question. And there is none to hold responsible. If any such authorities actually existed, we would not have to see the recurrence of such incidents. After the death of over 50 workers in a fire at Hashem Foods factory on 8 July, it was learnt that the factory did not have an adequate fire extinguishing system. A fire had broken out in the factory earlier, and even then the factory authorities were not alert. In 2012, a fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia killed over 100 workers.

After the Romana Rubber factory fire, we can also look back to some horrible accidents that took place in Old Dhaka. Four were killed as a chemical warehouse caught fire at Armanitola on 22 April, 70 died at Chawkbazar’s Churihatta fire on 20 February 2019 and 124 perished as a chemical warehouse caught fire at Nimtali on 3 June 2010.

No steps were taken or are being taken about the chemical warehouses that have sprung up all over Old Dhaka despite such horrible fires and loss of valuable lives. Like Rumana Rubber, innumerable factories are running throughout the country without minimum safety standards. Isn’t it predictable that more accidents and casualties will be added to the list in the coming days?

There are labour laws, a national building code, fire prevention and extinction rules, factory inspectors and other related laws and authorities in the country, but all these are ineffective after an accident. That’s why such incidents cannot be considered merely as accidents. After every such incident, we try to call for attention from all the related authorities through our editorials. But unfortunately, these calls are not heeded. Will such incidents simply continue? Will the workers continue to be charred?

Instead of losing hope, we seek the attention of authorities concerned again. Risky factories of Old Dhaka have to be identified and forced to comply with adequate safety measures. Enforcement of laws has to be ensured. It should be found out who is responsible for the operation of a risky factory such as Romana Rubber. Provide compensation for those who lost their lives in the fire.

Read more from Editorial
Post Comment