Bangladesh's annual demand for chemicals is around $2.5 billion, rising 8 percent year-on-year, said Osama Taseer, president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), yesterday.
About 800 types of chemicals are being sold in Old Dhaka, he said in a DCCI statement.
The 2010 Nimtoli fire and that in Churihatta of Chawkbazar last month indicate that the existing chemical management system is not up to the mark, Taseer said at a discussion at the chamber's office in Dhaka.
Like the Hazaribagh tannery industry, chemical shops and stores of Old Dhaka could be shifted outside the city following consultations with the businesspeople, he said, urging the government to rapidly implement its “Chemical Polli” (village) project, which encompasses 50 acres of land.
Sirajur Rahman, chief chemical management specialist of Engineering Resource International, presented a keynote on “Safe Chemical Management System: Post Chawkbazar Preparations” at the event.
He said around Tk 16,000 crore-worth business was directly or indirectly related with chemicals in Bangladesh.
Terming the Chawkbazar incident a lesson, he suggested formulating policy guidelines and taking up chemical management planning, training and monitoring.
Mohammad Sayeed Khokon, mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, said a “satellite fire station” could be established near the Babubazar bridge as demanded by the businesspeople for rapid action against fires whenever needed.
He also said the government was soon going to establish the “Chemical Polli” under Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority at Sirajdikhan, Munshiganj.