Govt to Strike down Illegal Chemical Storages, Structures
Monday, 07 June 2010

The government is preparing to form two taskforces, one to prevent the illegal storage of chemicals in residential buildings in Old Dhaka and the other to identify those responsible for building unauthorised structures and high-rises across the city.

"The industries ministry and public works ministries will separately form the two taskforces in a few days," disaster management minister Abdur Razzaque told reporters on Sunday.

The relevant authorities will take steps against those responsible after the taskforces have submitted their reports, he said.

It was the illegal storage of flammable chemicals that was a key cause in the dreadful loss of lives in the blaze in Old Dhaka and this threat must be removed to prevent a repeat, he said.

In addition, structures built in violation of construction laws will also be demolished, he added.

"Legal steps will be taken against those who use the court to prevent us taking this action," he said.

"The law ministry and the office of the attorney general have been asked to be on alert so that no one can use legal loopholes to save themselves."

Decisions have also been taken to set up trauma and burns units, impart voluntary training to every ward under the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme, set up water reservoirs beside every school playground and publish the just-formulated 'Detailed Area Plan'

On the high-rise Concord building at Shantinagar in the city, he said all high-rises and the approval documents given by the authorities for constructing the buildings will be examined by experts.

If any type of irregularities are found, steps will be taken, he went on.

Razzaque also said buildings in the city at risk from earthquakes will be retrofitted so that they will be earthquake-tolerant and added steps have already been taken to retrofit Dhaka Medical College Hospital building and the cabinet building at the Secretariat.

A total of 26 secretaries, along with the fire services chief Abu Nayeem Mohammad Shahidullah, were present at the meeting which was presided over by the minister.

Source: bdnews24.com

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