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Korail fire: Hundreds made homeless

  • Published at 01:58 am December 6th, 2016
Korail fire: Hundreds made homeless
Rohima Begum, 55, a resident of the slum for 15 years lost everything in the fire. She spent the right sleeping next to what used to be her home on a cold December right with just the clothes on her back having to rely on the kindness of strangers for survival now. “We slept on the ground that was wet from fog and dew last night,” she said. For the last two days the victims of the fire have been living under makeshift tents and food provided by NGOs and some locals. Volunteer working there said only about 100 blankets have arrived so far and the pledges made by the government and NGOs have yet to pour in. Shahenur Banu, said she had lost all of her belongings including Tk3 lakh in cash, 15 house, 3 refrigerator, a computer, an oven which were her source of income. Her physically disabled son also lost a tea stall and a makeshift shop in the fire. The victims fear that the aid provided by the government and NGO will never arrive as influential locals might steal them. Local said fire started at 2:30pm and the fire fighting crew reached the spot at 2:50pm and was put out at 4:20pm. They said most of them could not save their belongings as they could not take boats ashore. Imran Hossain who ran mess boarded a boat with 28 tenants, mostly rickshaw puller, auto driver, footpath vendors and garment workers are not living in one single wet congested room without a roof. Shamim Hossain, research manager of Urban Development Programme at Brac said, they sent their team to the spot shortly after the incident and provided them with first aid. “We (city dwellers) could not give them due respect (slum dwellers) although they are contributing so much to the economy and our lives.” The Korail slum the largest slum in the city with around 300,000 of residents. The slum sit on a land owned by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has avoided several eviction attempts by authorities over the years. This was the second fire that engulfed Korail slum this year, the first one was in March.