The High Court today observed that non-implementation of its directives and rule over the 2010 Nimtoli fire in Old Dhaka is unfortunate.
The court asked the authorities concerned of the government to submit a report on what steps have been taken to implement the directives and rule before it and fixed April 11 for further hearing on the issue.
The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal passed the order during hearing a writ petition filed by five rights organisations including Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association and a resident of Old Dhaka after Nimtoli fire that had killed 124 people and injured many others on June 3, 2010.
Following the same petition, the HC on June 10 that year ordered the government-formed probe committee, headed by the home secretary, to find the cause of Nimtoli fire and submit a report to it within three months.
The court asked the taskforce formed to identify the unauthorised buildings, warehouses and factories where chemicals, explosives and other flammable or petroleum products (both authorised and unauthorised) were stored and to submit the report to it within three months.
It also issued a rule asking the authorities to show cause as to why they should not be directed to take actions and adequate measures for preventing and fighting against eruption of fire in the city.
In the rule, the court told the authorities to explain why they should not be ordered to ensure safe and planned development of Old Dhaka and prevent the unauthorised setting up or use of buildings as warehouses and factories, and use of flammable or petroleum products or any hazardous substances, chemicals or explosives in Old Dhaka.
As a devastating fire at Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka on February 20 this year killed 71 people and injured many others, the petitioners’ lawyers today prayed to the HC for holding final hearing on the 2010 writ petition.
Barrister Sara Hossain and Advocate Syed Rizwana Hasan appeared for the petitioners, while Assistant Attorney General Purabi Rani Saha represented the state.