I congratulate Nahela Nowshin for writing such an excellent article published in your daily on February 23. The fire in Chawkbazar has reminded me of a similar incident in the past. In August 1988, a fire broke out in Joynag Road of Old Dhaka, a densely populated residential area with narrow lanes. The owner of a five-storied building had a foam factory just in front of the building and its ground floor was used as the warehouse for foam-making chemicals. Fire started in the factory and it quickly spread and rose up to the 4th floor of the building. A number of people were seriously injured. My brother and his family members were among them. He still feels pain due to the burn injury. Sadly, no charges were brought against anybody for the disaster.
It has become a part of our culture to disregard rules and regulations. We occupy footpaths, roads, river banks, encroach upon a neighbour's land, occupy khas land, and build factories and structures illegally. We have laws but they are hardly ever implemented. Unless we change ourselves, many more incidents such as Chawkbazar and Nimtoli are waiting to happen.