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ED: Another day, another fire

  • Published at 06:38 am October 9th, 2021
Representational Photo

How flawed are our regulations that a simple fire like this can destroy 70 shops?

To say that the latest fire at the Patuakhali new market -- a fire that has destroyed around 70 shops -- is absolutely inexcusable, is not saying anything new. Fires have almost become a part and parcel of our daily lives, so much so that not seeing the news of a devastating fire every few months can actually seem off. 

Mantaj Uddin, deputy director of Barisal Fire Service and Civil Defense, said the fire started at a single shop and soon spread through the market. Six fire tenders were pressed into service, but it took them nearly two hours to contain the blaze. A probe has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of the fire, and we should have more information about structural integrity and such once that is published. 

But when the absolute basics are not maintained, there is no point in waiting for a specialist report. It is absolutely infuriating that the authorities still fail to update their fire safety regulations. It is absolutely infuriating that our measures for fire safety are still not up to the mark. 

Six fire tenders were dispatched to handle the crisis, but it still took them two hours. How weak is our fire safety infrastructure if it is this hard for them to handle a simple fire like this? How flawed are our regulations that a simple fire like this can destroy 70 shops? And why is the government so inattentive to actually enforcing these regulations? 

This newspaper has stressed the importance of fire safety measures way too many times now, and frankly, it is getting very tiring. The government needs to do something, and it needs to do something now. 

We are losing too much to the flames of bureaucratic incompetence. The government needs to step up its game, and make sure this ceases to happen.