Buildings without Fire Safety are ordered to be demolished from March
Fire service and city corporation officials are to start a drive against buildings and factories without fire safety plans from next week. The decision comes after a fire at a high-rise building in Gulshan on Sunday (19 February) killed at least 2 people and injured many.
Firefighters found that during construction, the owners obtained a no-objection certificate from the fire service, but they didn’t get an approved fire safety plan which is mandatory under the fire prevention act.
Brig Gen Md Main Uddin, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence, told reporters that buildings that do not comply with fire safety rules will be identified. “We will check if they have fire safety plans and licences,” he said, urging city dwellers to be aware of fire safety rules.
The fire service last year inspected 5,869 establishments and buildings, including the government ones, and found 617 buildings “very risky” and 1,606 “risky”.
In Dhaka, officials inspected 1,162 buildings and marked 136 “very risky” and 499 “risky”. Besides, numerous chemical and plastic factories and storage facilities are operated illegally in old Dhaka. A fire at a chemical storage facility in old Dhaka’s Churihatta cost 71 lives in 2019.
Asked about these factories, Brig Gen Main Uddin said the fire service has stopped providing licences to them. The fire service is working with the city corporations and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) to identify the buildings that are not built as per the Bangladesh National Building Code, he said.
“We have 14,000 trained firefighters. We also have advanced equipment. But these certainly will not be enough if there is a major disaster. We are continuing our training and drills to prepare for disasters.
“We have 50,000 volunteers. The target was 62,000. We have trained over one lakh garment workers. Everyone is training their family members and communities. Besides, we are providing training in schools and colleges.”
The fire service is in discussions with the ministry concerned to procure modern equipment.
A fire service delegation that went to Turkey after the recent earthquake has returned after rescuing a girl and recovering 23 bodies, he added.
UN says: Extraordinary economic dev among BD’s many achievements
Greeting Bangladesh, the United Nations on Sunday (26th March) said Bangladesh has many accomplishments — extraordinary economic development, a significant cultural legacy, leadership on a global stage for climate-vulnerable countries, and immense generosity in welcoming and hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees.
“The hospitality of Bangladesh’s diverse people is just one of the many facets of a country that my colleagues and I have been fortunate to experience every day,” UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said in a press statement on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day.
“On behalf of the United Nations, I warmly congratulate the people of Bangladesh on the 52nd anniversary of independence,” she said.
Over the last 52 years, Bangladesh has made impressive and remarkable achievements: evolving from a war-torn country to one of the leading economic powers in South Asia, standing at the threshold of upcoming graduation from least developed countries (LDCs) in 2026, and planned achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030, she said.
The UN fully supports Bangladesh’s commitments to economic and sustainable development and appreciates the strong and long-lasting relationship with Bangladesh and our shared values.
The constitution of the country, which was adopted even before Bangladesh had formally become a member of the United Nations in 1974, guarantees fundamental human rights. The right to freedom of speech, religion, movement and assembly, the right to speak one’s own language and other rights that are in line with the UN charter, said the UNRC.
“Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day!” — she concluded.
PM Sheikh Hasina, President pays homage to Liberation War Martyrs
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina & President M Abdul Hamid paid rich tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka early on Sunday (26th March), marking the 53rd Independence and National Day.
The president first placed the wreath at the altar of the memorial followed by the prime minister.
After laying the wreaths, the president and the premier stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect for the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.
A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute at that time while the bugles played the last post.
The head of the state and the head of the government also signed the visitors’ book kept on the memorial premises.
Flanked by her party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League, paid glowing tributes to the Liberation War martyrs by placing another wreath at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, senior AL leaders, leaders of AL-led 14-party alliance and high civil and military officials, among others, were present there.
Later, the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) speaker and the chief justice also paid homage to the martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum.
Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of March 25, 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16 the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.
In the wake of the military crackdown by the then Pakistan occupation force, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi in Dhaka.
The day is very auspicious and precious to the Bengali nation.
Bangladesh Observed Independence Day Today
The Independence Day of Bangladesh is celebrated on 26 March as a national holiday in Bangladesh. It commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Pakistan in the early hours of 25 March 1971.
In the 1970 Pakistani general election, under the military government of President Yahya Khan, the largest political party Awami League, led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a clear majority in East Pakistan national seats as well as provincial assembly. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto conspired with Yahya Khan and changed their position, refusing to hand over power to Sheikh Mujib.
Negotiations began between the two sides, however, the ruling West Pakistani leadership did not trust Sheikh Mujib, due to instances such as the Agartala conspiracy case. When it became evident that the promises made by the West Pakistan government were not going to be kept, many East Pakistani Bangla-speaking Muslims and Hindus began a spirited struggle for independence.
On 7 March 1971, Sheikh Mujib gave his famous speech at the Ramna Racecourse, in which he called for a non-cooperation movement.
Authorities, mostly West Pakistani personnel, rounded up Bengali armed forces officers, NCOs, and enlisted personnel. Forced disappearances went rampant. On the evening of 25 March, in an interview with David Frost, Sheikh Mujib still called out openly for negotiation and a united Pakistan. That night the Pakistan Army began Operation Searchlight, conclusively signalling West Pakistan was not ready for a transfer of political power to the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Independence of Bangladesh was declared on 26 March 1971 at the first watch by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman . Another declaration was read out on 27 March 1971, by Major Ziaur Rahman, on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Major Zia (who was also a BDF Sector Commander of Sector 1 and later of Sector 11) raised an independent Z Force brigade, Chittagong and the guerilla struggle officially began.
The people of Bangladesh then took part in a nine-month guerilla war against the Pakistan Army and their collaborators, including paramilitary Razakars. This resulted in the death of about 3 million Bangladeshi, as per Awami league and Indian sources, in the Bangladesh War of Independence and Bangladesh Genocide. The BDF, later with military support from India, defeated the Pakistan Army on 16 December 1971, leading to the end of the war and the Surrender of Pakistan.
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