Secretariat at no risk of electrical fire: Cabinet secy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 09, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:12 AM, April 09, 2019

Secretariat at no risk of electrical fire: Cabinet secy

Bangladesh's secretariat has “foolproof security” in terms of fire hazard from electrical short circuits, Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam said yesterday.

“We have circuit breakers everywhere. There's almost no chance of fire breaking out from a short circuit,” he told reporters at Cabinet Division after a cabinet meeting held at Prime Minister's Office.

“This is a specialty of buildings constructed by Public Works Department (PWD). All the buildings have circuit breakers. It prevents electrical fire,” he said.

The top bureaucrat made the comments at a time when fire safety has become a much talked about issue in the country following the tragedy at Banani's FR Tower.

The secretary said PWD has been taking different measures including changing expired fire extinguishers.

He said they will hold a meeting with all authorities concerned on whether there are any loopholes, and will take necessary action following scrutiny.

They will construct another 20-storey building on secretariat premises, he added.

CABINET DIVISION BUILDING AT EARTHQUAKE RISK

The secretary, however, said the Cabinet Division building is not out of earthquake risk.

“It is a 60 or 70-year-old building. The base of this building is weak. We have a standing alert on earthquake,” he told reporters.

“That's why prime minister has stopped attending office at the building and she attends meetings at other venue.”

About the risk of officials working in Cabinet Division building, he said if the tectonic plate at Dawki -- near Sylhet -- moves, it would take two minutes to reach Dhaka.

“We have a mechanism of an alert. If we are alerted on time, we can evacuate,” he said.

66 PERCENT DECISIONS IMPLEMENTED

In the first quarter of this year, a total of 36 decisions were taken in five cabinet meetings, he said.

Of them, 24 decisions -- or 66.67 percent -- have been implemented while the others are at implementation stage, he said.

In the same period last year, the cabinet took 63 decisions in seven meetings and implementation rate was 68.25 percent.

“Our performance was relatively better last year,” he said.

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