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Jatiya Party: Lack of accountability behind recurring factory fires

  • Published at 11:33 am July 11th, 2021
File photo of Jatiya Party acting chairman GM Quader Collected

In most cases, those responsible for the fire incidents get out through the loopholes of the law, says GM Quader

Jatiya Party (JaPa) Chairman GM Quader on Sunday alleged that there is no let-up in factory fires and deaths of workers in the country for lack of monitoring and accountability of the authorities concerned.

“Even in the 50 years of independence, the lives of the factory workers are not safe in this country. Every year many workers die in factory fires,” he said in a statement.

The JaPa chief said many buildings are not constructed in accordance with the building code while the factories are not built maintaining the specific policies.

“The factories don’t have the necessary equipment to prevent fires. There’s no monitoring and minimum accountability of those responsible. So, the workers can’t save their lives when any factory catches fire,” he observed.

Quader, also the deputy leader of opposition in parliament, said an investigation committee is formed after each fire incident and the report also contains some recommendations.

“Sometimes people know about it [report], sometimes it remains a secret. The recommendations are hardly implemented. In most cases, those responsible [for the fire incidents] get out through the loopholes of the law. So, the fire incidents and the processions of death are not stopping,” he alleged.

Referring to the data of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, the JaPa chairman said 2,317 people were killed and 12,374 others injured in fire incidents across the country in the last 15 years. “A large part of them were working-class people.”

He recalled that 117 garment workers at the Tazreen Fashion garment factory at Ashulia were burnt to death and more than 200 others injured in the deadliest fire in the country’s history on November 24, 2012.

“The deaths of bread-earners in each fire incident cause a humanitarian catastrophe in their poverty-stricken families,” Quader bemoaned.

He said the government must take strong steps right now to reduce fire incidents and save the lives of workers.

The JaPa chief’s statement came several days after a massive fire killed 52 people at a factory in Rupganj, Narayanganj.

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