HC unhappy over govt’s failure to implement Nimtoli recommendations
The High Court today expressed dissatisfaction at the failure by authorities concerned of the government in implementing the 17 recommendations of the probe committee formed following the tragic Nimtoli incident in 2010 and questioned its legality.
The court issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in four weeks why their failure to implement the recommendations of the probe committee to prevent similar happening at Chawkbazar in which at least 69 people were killed should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the HC also asked the respondents to show causes why they should not be directed to take appropriate steps immediately for adopting effective laws and guidelines for the production, storage, handling, selling and use of combustive, corrosive and explosive substances especially chemicals and petroleum products and to ensure complete compliance of the laws and guideline.
Officials concerned of the government including secretaries to the ministries of home, mineral resources, industries and cabinet division, director general of the civil defense and fire service, mayors of Dhaka (south and north) city corporations and director general of the department of environment have been made respondents to the rule.
After the Nimtoli tragedy in 2010 that killed 124 people, a government- probe committee made 17 recommendations including relocating the warehouses to nonresidential areas, enforcing Fire Prevention and Extinguishing Rules 2003 and Bangladesh National Building Code, installing separate hydrant points in different areas and raising awareness from an early age through textbooks.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition jointly filed by Supreme Court lawyers Nur Mohammad Aazmi and Khandoker Md Sayadul Kawsar seeking necessary order.
The court today said the bureaucrats have not implemented any of the 17 recommendations of the probe committee formed after the Nimtoli incident although minister has been moving at home and abroad for the development of the country.
The court wanted to order the government to give Tk four lakh to the families of each victim of Chawkbazar fire for immediate necessity, as the government has decided to give Tk one lakh to each.
But, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam requested to the court not to pass such order saying that he would inform the authorities concerned of the government about the court’s desire.
The court then said it will pass order about compensation for the victims’ families after hearing the government’s decision.
Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kazal and Advocate Amit Das Gupta appeared for the petitioners.
Today, the same HC bench kept three other writ petitions filed in connection with Chawkbazar fire standover (waiting for hearing) for four weeks.
Four separate writ petitions including that of Azami and Sayadulwere filed with the HC on Sunday in connection with the Chawkbazar fire, with different prayers including compensation for the affected families and punishment for those responsible.
Eunus Ali Akond filed one of the petitions seeking HC directives on the government to compensate each of the families with Tk 30 lakh.
He also sought an HC order on the government to form a judicial inquiry commission to find out the cause behind the fire, identify those responsible for the blaze and take punitive actions against them.
Two other petitions were filed by SC lawyer ZI Khan Panna and Old Dhaka resident Zabed Miah.