• Sunday, Jan 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:22 pm

ED: Disasters waiting to happen

  • Published at 02:02 am December 1st, 2020
slum fire
MORSHED MISHU

Whether acts of arson or genuine accidents, all fire incidents must be investigated thoroughly

Over the years, the authorities have been inexcusably negligent about fire incidents at slums and other areas. There is no scope, any longer, to chalk them off as isolated or stray incidents -- these devastating fires have become so frequent that the public has become desensitized to such news. A normalizing of such an alarming reality, which is in no way normal, is a disturbing trend which must be stopped.

Whether acts of arson or genuine accidents, all fire incidents must be investigated thoroughly, with the causes unearthed. In the case of accidents, we must ask the question: Why do these accidents keep happening and who is to blame? 

During a visit to various slums, this newspaper found illegal connections with poor wiring at both Kalyanpur and Karail slums. There were also poor gas connections with plastic pipes. Almost certainly, electrical and gas connections that flout the law and do not meet the basic standards exist throughout the country, with a particularly high density in the capital city. 

They should never have been set up in the first place. From day one, then, they were disasters waiting to happen, and the horrifying fires gutting entire shanties that we have been witnessing have been a matter of not if, but when.

The government needs to pay closer attention to the things that are causing such immeasurable damage of life, livelihood, and property. We speak, after all, of development, boasting of impressive infrastructure development projects. All of that means little if the machinery underneath is faulty, and fundamental safety measures are ignored to cut corners.

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