Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has excluded factories and warehouses that use plastic granules and organic pigments from its ongoing drive against flammable chemicals in Old Dhaka, as the authorities find those “non-risky”.
“The Department of Explosives has declared plastic granules and organic pigments non-risky flammable elements. On the basis of its declaration, the city authorities decided to exclude plastic granules and pigments from the drive's purview,” said DSCC Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon yesterday.
He said their drive against 29 flammable chemicals will continue. “Legal actions will be taken against factories and warehouses if those chemicals are found,” said Khokon.
The mayor was addressing a views-exchange meeting with businessmen, society leaders and locals on solving problems that arose due to the fire in Old Dhaka last month.
The fire that broke out in Chawkbazar's Churihatta on February 20 claimed lives of 71 people. The blaze, breaking out at a chemical warehouse of Hazi Wahed Mansion, spread through four buildings.
Following the incident, demand for removal of flammable chemical warehouses and factories from old town continue to get louder.
DSCC formed a taskforce to conduct the drive in Old Dhaka. It also disconnected utility services of several plastic warehouses and factories during the drive, which infuriated many local businessmen.
At yesterday's meeting, plastic goods businessmen protested the ongoing drive and demanded a stop to it. Terming plastic “non-flammable”, they said plastic goods are being used everywhere, everyday.
If the government stops plastic business in Old Dhaka, it will eventually hurt country's economy, said Jasim Uddin, president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association.
Saying they are looking for a place to move, he urged DSCC to allow business of plastic granules in Old Dhaka till relocation.
The businessmen also promised to keep sand, water and fire extinguishers at each shop, warehouse and factory.