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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Bailey Road fire: Shop Owners Association questions inaction of authorities

  • Says govt must take punitive action against regulatory boards
  • ‘Everything is being commercialized'
Update : 02 Mar 2024, 05:12 PM

Helal Uddin, president of the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, said those who are on the regulatory board only serve notices without taking significant actions such as shutting down the institutions that have issues. 

He made the comment while talking to reporters after visiting the burnt Green Cozy Cottage in Bailey Road on Saturday.  

"The government should take punitive action against the regulatory boards that have permitted business establishments in that building. We do not want this kind of incident to happen again. The government should take action against those who make errors. It can be against a businessman, or against a company,” he said.

He later lamented how everything is being commercialized these days and in return, people are dying like in the incident in Bailey Road.

He added that businessmen have faced losses in the incident, and so did the customers. “So many lives were lost. Even we lost hundreds of crores of taka.”

The president of the Bangladesh Shop Owners Association said that various stakeholders, including the owners' association, visited different markets in consultation with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). 

“There we saw somewhere there was a problem with electricity, somewhere there was a fire hazard. Those currently engaged in fire safety once served in the fire brigade. Now, they have 
established their own firms and approach markets, demanding Tk3 to 5 crore for fire safety measures," he said. 

He added: "The question is, where will we get such a huge amount of money? The government has said that all goods coming from abroad for fire safety will be tax-free. But when we go to different agencies, they are charging taxes.”

At least four people have been arrested in connection with the fire in Bailey Road’s Green Cozy Cottage, that claimed the lives of 46 people. Over 20 others sustained severe injuries in the incident that took place on Thursday night. 

Firefighters rescued 70 people, including 42 in unconscious state, from the rooftop and different floors of the seven-storey Green Cozy Cottage.

The fire broke out at around 9:45pm. 

Most of the people died as they jumped off the building or from burns or suffocation, said firefighters who brought the fire under control around 12:30am. 

Fire officials say the blaze spread fast due to the presence of gas cylinders on several floors in the restaurant kitchens. People could not leave the building due to smoke in the staircase.

Timeline: Bailey Road fire
02 Mar 2024, 17:12
Bailey Road fire: Shop Owners Association questions inaction of authorities
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