The lids of five manholes and slabs were blown off by explosions on Friday at Indira Road in the capital. The news, with pictures, appeared in the media the following day. The damaged roads indicated the severity of the blasts. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the explosions.

A staff of Titas’ emergency gas control division said the explosion might have taken place due to gas generated from the decomposition of the waste accumulated in the underground sewers and gas leaked from the Titas pipeline.

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It is natural for gas to be generated in a sewer, but if it is trapped to such an extent that it causes a powerful explosion creating death risks for the city dwellers, it is dangerous. The gas accumulated underground may cause explosions if it cannot be released. To avoid this situation, there should be gaps kept during the road construction so that gas can escape. The Titas worker told Prothom Alo that there were not such gaps on Indira Road.

Dhaka WASA is responsible for keeping the underground sewers clean. Titas Gas is responsible for the overall maintenance of the gas lines, including keeping them free of leakage. Both have to perform these tasks regularly... otherwise people may even be killed

This accident is the result of not realising the importance of avoiding the risks associated with road construction and maintenance. It may be the result of negligence and irresponsibility of engineers. Secondly, the Titas Gas authorities are responsible for causing dangerous levels of gas to accumulate under the road through leakage in their pipelines that resulted in an explosion of this magnitude.

A couple of years ago, a similar gas explosion took place in the East Rajabazar area. Residents of Indira Road, East Rajabazar area have repeatedly told Dhaka WASA and Titas Gas Company that they occasionally smell gas in the air, but neither of the authorities took any action. The site of Friday's blasts is under the Ward-27 of Dhaka North City Corporation. The councilor of that ward also said that they did not get any response despite repeatedly writing to WASA and Titas. Finally, they sent a letter to the home minister.

Dhaka WASA is responsible for keeping the underground sewers clean. Titas Gas is responsible for the overall maintenance of the gas lines, including keeping them free of leakage. Both the organisations have to perform these tasks regularly, cooperating and coordinating with the city corporation. Otherwise, people may even be killed if such an explosion happens again. This is totally unacceptable.

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