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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Units without 2 exits to be shut

Says labour minister; PM says Ashulia incident pre-planned

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in parliament yesterday that the Ashulia garment factory fire was "pre-planned" and urged the people, garment owners and workers to remain alert to foil any subversive activities in future.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju said the government would shut down garment factories which had no or only one fire and emergency exit.

“Now it's been proved that it's not a mere accident. There is no doubt that it's a pre-planned incident,” Hasina said, citing the arrests of two garment workers on charges of setting fire to Debonair garment in Ashulia.

It may be mentioned that some people allegedly set fire to Debonair garment factory on Sunday at around lunch time. This fire, however, seems not to have any link with Saturday's fire at Tazreen Fashions. The fire at Debonair was immediately doused by the factory fire fighters with no casualty reported. Police arrested two people in this connection.

Taking the floor in the House during an unscheduled discussion, Hasina said those behind the incident must be identified through investigation.

Terming the incident “very unfortunate,” the prime minister said, “[I] don't know when playing games with people's lives will end.”

After the country's Liberation War, jute warehouses were set on fire as the country was earning remittances through exporting the golden fibre, Hasina said, adding that now attacks were being made on the garment sector that had been earning foreign currency.

Participating in the discussion, Awami League-led ruling alliance MPs demanded that the government identify the masterminds behind the fire and take stern action against them.

Worker's Party chief Rashed Khan Menon said incidents of fire in garment factory were nothing new. “They have been happening regularly. But owners of garment factories were never brought to book over their negligence in ensuring safety in the factories.”

RMG LEADERS MEET RAJU
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association yesterday met the labour minister at the latter's secretariat office yesterday and discussed the fire incident.

After the meeting, Raju told journalists that until the garment factories constructed more than one emergency exits, those would remain shut.

The ministry would soon start an investigation in this regard, he added.

Meanwhile, Raju at another meeting with his ministry officials and police said the Labour Welfare Foundation under his ministry would hand over Tk 1 crore to the prime minister for the Ashulia fire victims.

A seven-member committee had been formed to determine within three days the extent of damage and casualties, he said.

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Lasher (dead body) rajniti...a new phenomenon is again on the horizon…we are terrified.

: AK Fazlul Haque

I absolutely agree with our eminent economist Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya on the issue of trade union for the garments workers in order to protect their safety and interests. It is also very true that these kinds of incidents will damage our country’s image abroad which will hamper our productivity.

: Sharmin Ahmed

Comments

  • Parash
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 01:31 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    After the meeting, Raju told journalists that until the garment factories construct more than one emergency exits, those will remain shut. - What's the hurry? Let another few hundreds burn to death first, then implement it.

  • neutral
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 01:40 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    One would very cautiously consider the statement of the prime minister before accepting or rejecting her comment.

    The political history of Bangladesh is full of blood stained hands of individual and mass murderers to make political gain and pave the way to go to power by damaging the popularity of the government in power, the opposition is blamed all the time for any political tragedy our history holds.

  • niloufar sarker
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:32 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Now is not the time to play blame game. The garment factories should not only have more than one exit but also other safety measures like cross ventilations, roof mounted sprinklers and industrial strength fire extinguishers and regular fire drills. BGMEA should have a body that would hold regular inspections to see the safety measures are observed by its members at regular intervals and not depend on govt agency.

  • barkat
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:35 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    The PM should have find the root cause of problem and make sure that such accident do not happen again. But she prefer to her regular fashion of blaming others except her government. These poor workers died due to the greed of factory owners and corrupt government official who ignore their safety need. From BDR revolt, Ramu riot to this tragic tragedy, PM is always ready with her misleading theories. People of Bangladesh are fed up with these false of blaming others except her government.

  • Parveen
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:38 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Owners probably set fire to their own factories to get insurance money (re. Debonair fire). But some minister will no doubt soon blame it all on a plot to thwart war crime trials.

  • N. Alamgir
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 05:54 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Will the govt do this or it is just rhetoric! What happened to the removal of storage from old Dhaka after the devastating Nimtoli fire? Nothing so far has been done even though the Industries Minister promised to remove all chemical storage facilities. The politicians say much but do very little.

  • Mirza Md. Nasir Uddin
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 06:57 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the soul of the deceased, the family members of the deceased, the people of Bangladesh. When some thing happens, the government, the Media and the people of this country take it to their discussion. But, Alas! We tend to forget everything. So there should be the permanent solution of the common incident of Bangladesh - landslide in Chittagong, bus accident due to bad road condition, fire incident in garments factories and other high rise buildings, launch collision, collapse of fly over and other tallest buildings. I hope the concerned authorities always keep these in their mind to provide safeguard to the people of Bangladesh.

  • Mahfuzul H Chowdhury
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 09:12 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Shutting down industries is not the solution Mr Minister and even realising this after such a tragedy is not the responsibility of the minister.

  • Shams
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 10:12 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Instead of taking steps to prevent these outrageous incidents, PM is trying to blame incidents on non-existent political reasons. She has governed less than well and the electorate will teach her party a historic lesson at the next elections!

  • Robin
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:05 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    When did the Prime Minister of Bangladesh become fire/arson investigator? Fire investigators go to school to learn source of fire using science.

  • Sharmin Ahmed
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:34 AM GMT+06:00 (100 weeks ago)

    Every garments factory should be equipped with many sprinkler heads in every rooms along with fire extinguishers located at possibly hazardous sections (where yarns, fabrics etc are located) also other sections i.e. where workers are working. These measures should be taken along with 2 exits system. Then future accidents will be for sure prevented and also the loss of most valuable lives. Garment industry brings billions of dollars for our country and these workers are equal contributors to this export income. So safety of these workers is most imperative and it is also a humane issue, which everyone should be concerned of. Factories being safe mean no loss also. So I hope our authorities will take care of these issues prudently and carefully.


 

 


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