High Court seeks report on fire safety measures in high-rises | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, April 02, 2019

High Court seeks report on fire safety measures in high-rises

Issuing a rule for compensating the families of Chawkbazar and FR Tower fire victims, the High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned to submit a detailed report on fire safety measures at high-rises in Dhaka.

The mayors of Dhaka north and south city corporations, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) chairman and director general (DG) of Fire Service and Civil Defence have been asked to collectively prepare and submit the report to the HC in four months.

In response to a writ petition, the court also ordered the DG of Fire Service and Civil Defence to submit a separate report on the manpower, equipment, attire, vehicles and resources for preventing and dousing fire in the city before it in a month.

Besides, the court issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in two weeks why they should not be directed to give adequate compensation to the family members of the victims who lost their lives in the fire incidents at Churihatta in Chawkbazar area in February this year and at FR Tower in Banani on March 28.

In the rule, it asked them to show cause why construction of the buildings without sufficient fire safety measures and in violation of the Bangladesh National Building Code 2012 and Fire Protection and Extinguishment Act, 2003 should not be declared illegal.

The court in the rule ordered the respondents to explain why they should not be directed to take necessary measures to protect the residents of Dhaka from fire hazards caused by violation of laws and why the education ministry should not be directed to include fire safety awareness in the national curriculum.

Concerned government high-ups, including secretaries to the ministries of home, housing and public works, disaster management and relief, education; mayors of Dhaka north and south city corporations; Rajuk chairman; and DG of Fire Service and Civil Defence have been made respondents to the rule.

In the rule, the HC also asked the DNCC mayor and Rajuk chairman to explain why they should not be directed to set up a fire station in Gulshan.

It also asked the respondents concerned to show cause why they should not be directed to provide sufficient and modern equipment, attire, vehicles and resources to the fire fighters working in Dhaka city.

The HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Gulshan Society Secretary General Barrister Sarwat Siraj Shukla, challenging legality of constructing buildings in Dhaka without sufficient fire safety measures.

The writ petitioner herself moved the petition before the HC yesterday.

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