DSCC Drive: Taskforce action on | Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:27 PM, March 05, 2019

Taskforce action on

Utility connections to 28 buildings snapped for housing illegal chemical warehouses

Four teams of a government taskforce yesterday snapped the utility connections to 28 buildings, including one belonging to Roxy Paints, for housing illegal warehouses in Old Dhaka.

Like the last two days, a section of the traders protested and created obstacles to the drive.

Since the taskforce, comprising of 14 government agencies, started the drive on Thursday, officials disconnected electricity, gas and water connections to 76 buildings in old town.

At least 71 people were killed and scores injured in a chemical-fed fire at Churihatta in Chawkbazar on February 20, prompting the government to act against chemical factories and warehouses in the area.

On February 25, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon announced that a month-long crackdown would be launched against warehouses of “dangerous chemicals”.

Yesterday, chemical factory and warehouse owners continued to demand that the drive should stop and owners should be given time to relocate.

A team led by Air Commodore Zahid Hossain, chief waste management officer of DSCC, disconnected utility lines of seven warehouses and factories on Nilambor Saha Road and Monesshor Road in Hazaribagh for storing plastic goods and flammable chemicals.

The team snapped gas and water connections to Roxy Paints in Hazaribagh and asked them to relocate their ware house and factory in three days or have their electricity line cut too.

Mahmud Ashik Kabir, assistant inspector of the Department of Explosives, said some of the materials used in the factory were inflammable. Since the factory had already started relocating, it was given some time.

“Storing or using such substances at factories in a residential area is banned,” he added.

Mahbubur Rahman, deputy general manager of Roxy Paints, said their production had been suspended without gas and water.

He added that it would take at least six months for a big company like his to relocate.

Commodore Zahid said utility lines of the warehouses and factories would remain disconnected until they move out of Hazaribagh.

Another team of officials led by Brig Gen Sharif Ahmed, chief health officer of the DSCC, disconnected utility lines of eight warehouses on Haronath Ghosh Road and Nanda Kumar Datta Lane for keeping plastic raw materials and chemicals.

Owners of four warehouses and factories managed to remove their plastic materials immediately and faced no action.

Mohammad Sohel, one of the owners who removed the flammable goods, said, he had been running the factories since the country's independence.

“We are one of the pioneers of making plastic products from scrapped goods. We want to move the factory, but we need time.”

Two other teams of the taskforce disconnected utility connections to 13 warehouses in Tantibazar.

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