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Development does not mean death

  • Published at 08:10 pm March 29th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:12 pm March 29th, 2017
Development does not mean death

Well, this is shameful.

Regretfully, our capital city is no stranger to injuries and deaths caused by construction mishaps. With both construction workers and the general public being made subject to such accidents, it’s high time we admitted that this is a problem.

With more and more mega projects being undertaken in our city, the chances of construction-related accidents are, inevitably, increasing. Which is why it is of the utmost importance that construction companies and contractors take the necessary precautions to make such sites as safe and secure as possible.

Which is not to say that there aren’t laws in place to prevent such disasters -- the Dhaka Metropolitan Building (Construction, Development, Protection, and Removal) Rules of 2008 contains provisions which stipulate that necessary safety measures be taken in and around any site being considered for development.

And yet, accidents such as the death of a construction worker in a girder collapse at the under-construction Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover in Malibagh from a few weeks ago, are all too common.

The most cited reason for these accidents is a lack of adequate safety gear being provided to workers by construction companies. On the other hand, we have construction companies refuting such claims, and in turn blaming their workers for not being accustomed to the safety tools that they are provided with.

This is unacceptable. We cannot let this matter devolve into yet another blame game, not when the safety of our citizens is at stake.

Stricter rules need to be enforced by the administration. Regular third-party inspections need to be made at construction sites, and any negligence on the part of construction companies need to be fined. With there being credible accusations of construction companies cheaping out on construction material in order to pocket a small profit, the onus of such accidents lie on the contractors.

While more buildings and infrastructural development projects are a good indicator of our progress as a nation, we need to realise that taking short-cuts will harm our nation in the long run. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Dhaka can’t be improved that way either.

The whole world agrees on “safety first,” our nation cannot be an exception to that rule.