The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is going to start setting up 291 temporary shops from tomorrow at the Gulshan-1 DNCC market that was destroyed by fire earlier this month.
These temporary shops will be built with bamboo frames and tarpaulin at the now-destroyed market structure. Each shopkeeper, who had legally taken a shop from the DNCC but lost their outlets in the fire, will be allocated with one temporary shop, DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq said.
READ MORE: City market ravaged by 16-hour blaze
The task will be completed within a week, he hoped today during the concluding programme of clearing the rubbles and remains of the ravaged market.
However, the authorities have not come up with a permanent decision to rebuild the market as a number of legal issues needed to be addressed first. This particular problem arose out of awarding of a contract to replace the market with a 20-storey commercial building in the last decade. But that construction could not be possible due to resistance by the shopkeepers.
It is difficult to say anything about the reconstruction of the market right now, Annisul said, adding, “I will try to solve the issue (permanent construction) through talks with representatives from businessmen and those who won the tender [to build the 20-storey building].”
After the January 3 fire gutted around 300 shops including many illegal shops, the DNCC has already built some 81 temporary shops at the parking spot of the market.
Meanwhile, shopkeepers demand building more temporary shops to compensate those who did not run shops legally—but lost huge investment in the fire.
READ MORE: Businessmen urge DNCC for rehabilitation
It is estimated that fire damaged goods and assets worth more than Tk 200 crore in the market which was famous for wholesale market of many imported products.
Nurul Islam, president of Shop Owners Association, said that he was confused of whether a new permanent establishment for the Kancha Bazar traders will be built or not at the same place.
“The authorities have built up temporary shops at the north and west sides of the market to rehabilitate the affected traders,” he said.
Sher Mohammad, chairman of the DCC Kancha Market Businessmen's Association, told The Daily Star that he came to know the DNCC’s move for their temporary rehabilitation.
“We know nothing about the permanent market. But we now badly need to begin our business,” he said.
Ordinary traders also echoed them saying that they are yet to be confirmed about the location where they will be rehabilitated.
“I’m yet to know where we will be shifted. The DNCC has managed a space near parking spot of the market for us now,” said Md Abul Kashem, a cosmetic shop owner, wishing to be permanently rehabilitated.
A devastating fire reduced much of the market to rubble on January 3. No casualty was reported in the blaze that swept through the two-storey building for about 16 hours. A portion of the market collapsed on impact.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), in 2013, declared the market building risky.