Govt won’t allow chemical warehouses in city: PM

Publish: 7:39 PM, March 7, 2019 | Update: 7:39:PM, March 7, 2019

DHAKA– Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today categorically said the government will not allow any chemical warehouses in Dhaka city, warning that it will not accept any obstruction in this regard.

“After Nimtali tragedy, such an incident happened in Chawkbazar which snatched lives of many people … we must shift the godowns from the capital and we’ll not allow whatever obstacle comes in this regard,” she said.

The prime minister said this while addressing the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected mayor and councillors of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) as well as the newly-elected councillors of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here this morning.

Sheikh Hasina said chemical warehouses could not be set up in the residential areas. “The chemical traders could keep their showrooms and sell the products they produce from those showrooms,” she said.

The prime minister said the government will make arrangements for separate place for chemical godowns so that flammable materials could be stored safely there.

Describing the Chawkbazar fire incident as very regrettable, she said: “We’re searching for separate place for the owners of chemical warehouses and we don’t want to ruin their business,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina administered the oath of office to DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam, while 26 councillors of the DNCC and 24 councillors of the DSCC took oath from LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam.

Local Government Division Secretary SM Golam Faruk conducted the oath-taking ceremony. State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharya was present on the dais.

Ministers, mayor of DSCC, parliament members and high civil and military officials were present at the function.

The prime minister congratulated the newly elected mayor and councillors for their victory in the polls and asked them to uphold the dignity of confidence and trust of the city people which they bestowed on them by giving vote.

“The government is working relentlessly to ensure civic amenities of the people. You’ve also responsibility to decorate the city beautifully, keep it neat and clean and improve the living standard of the people,” she said.

The prime minister also instructed the city corporations to make stride so that they can stand in their own feet by increasing income.

“The government is executing different projects of the city corporations, but it will not always do everything and the local government institutions will also have to work and implement projects so that they become self- reliant,” she said.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina pointed out that Chittagong City Corporation once was stood in its own feet where mayor late ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury ran the corporation efficiently.

The prime minister said the government will construct flats for stranded Pakistanis living at Geneva Camp in Mohammadpur in the capital. “There are many Biharis who expressed allegiance to Pakistan during the
liberation war. But Pakistan didn’t take back them and they are leading an inhuman life in the camp,” she said.

She said the government in the meantime is searching place for them and will build flats so that they can live there smoothly.

The prime minister said the government will also construct flats for the cleaners of Dhaka North City Corporation.

“We’ve already constructed four multi-storied buildings, out of 13, in Dhaka South City Corporation for the cleaners. Such buildings will also be constructed for the cleaners of the DNCC,” she said.

The prime minister urged the dwellers to keep the city neat and clean and maintain austerity in using electricity and water. She also asked them to abide by traffic rules to avert road accident.

The premier asked the mayor and councillors to assist the students so that they can cross roads after the school hours. Sheikh Hasina said the government divided Dhaka City Corporation into north and south to ensure services for the people.

Mentioning that the government’s every step as public-friendly, the premier said the government has implemented Hatirjheel Project and built a number of flyovers, while the work on constructing Metro Rail and Elevated Expressway is underway in the capital for development of communication and easing traffic jam.

The by-election to the mayoral post of the DNCC and the post of general councillors and reserved seats councillors in 36 wards added newly to the DNCC and DSCC were held on February 28 last.

Awami League candidate Atiqul Islam was elected DNCC mayor in the by- election. He secured 8,39,302 votes with ‘Boat’ symbol while his nearest contestant Shafin Ahmed of Jatiya Party bagged 52,429 votes with ‘plough’ symbol.