Home Bangladesh High-risky 20 Dhaka markets yet to break
Bangladesh - May 3, 2023

High-risky 20 Dhaka markets yet to break

A case has been filed in the high court so that most of the risky markets are not broken

Zarif Mahmud: At least 20 markets owned by the two city corporations of Dhaka are on the high-risk list. Among them, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has 11 markets and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has 9 markets. Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) has said that there is a risk of collapse and fire at any time in these markets. However, the authorities are not taking the initiative to remove or break the markets.
Recently, a terrible fire occurred in Bangabazar and Dhaka New Super Market. In the meantime, Bangabazar has been completely burnt to ashes. But there is a risk of fire and collapse in these two markets – the fire service has repeatedly given such notices. But no notice was taken into account by the City Corporation and the Shop Owners Association.
Officials of DSCC and DNCC said that they repeatedly took initiatives to demolish risky markets and construct new buildings. But it could not be implemented due to the obstacles of the traders. They have filed a case in the high court so that most of the risky markets are not broken. However, after the fire in Bangabazar and Dhaka New Super Market, traders are shaken. City Corporation has also taken initiative to break these markets. Risky markets will be removed soon.
DSCC’s 11 markets are highly risky
Sources in DSCC’s property department said 11 of their markets were or still are at high risk of fire. Meanwhile, Bangabazar was completely burnt by fire. Dhaka New Super Market partially burnt.
The rest of the markets are – Nawab Yusuf Market Complex in Nayabazar, Dayaganj Truckstand Roadside Market Bhaban, Thantaribazar Market, Lily Plaza Market in Siddheshwari, Khilgaon Railway Kachha Bazar, Azimpur Graveyard Market and Azimpur Orphanage Market. Besides, the Barisal Hotel building adjacent to Devidas Ghat and the first lane building of Jindabaha and the building of holding number 41/1, 2, 3 are at high risk. Although these buildings are not in the market list of the city corporation, there are shops in these buildings.
However, none of them were seen hanging a red notice saying ‘risky market’.
DSCC revenue department sources said that there was a fire incident in Bangabazar on April 4. The market, made of wood, bamboo, tin and steel structures, was declared vulnerable to fire and collapse in 2019 by Dhaka South City Corporation and Fire Service. Then the signboard was also hung. But the city corporation could not stop the business in the market due to the obstacles of the traders.
Earlier in 2007, BUET was commissioned to test the Dhaka New Super Market due to falling roof tiles and cracked pillars. Buet said everything will be checked and reformed quickly. But at that time, it was no longer possible. Later in 2016, Dhaka New Super Market South, Banalta Raw Market and Chandrima Super Market were tested by a private company. Of the three, Dhaka New Super Market is said to be more vulnerable to collapse and fire.
Then DSCC workers put up signboards saying ‘dangerous’ twice. But after installing it, the leaders of the shop owner association removed it. But as the market is risky, there are instructions in the report to vacate it.
DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapas visited the fire site in Dhaka New Super Market on April 15. Then he said during the discussion with the media, we have to go for long-term activities to de-risk the market. Not only should it be identified as dangerous, but it should also be ensured that it is not used again until it is safe. This full procedure has not been taken before. But now DSCC has taken up this activity.
He said, we will do all the activities that have to be taken to de-risk every market. If it has to be demolished, it will be demolished and rebuilt.
Nawab Yusuf Market Complex in Old Dhaka’s Nayabazar is one of the riskiest markets of DSCC. Recently, it can be seen on the surface, the plaster of the roof of the two-story market has come out. There are 730 shops in seven buildings of that complex. There is a huge raw market and fish market in between. Wholesale and retail trading is going on in the market complex from morning to midnight.
Sarwar Hasan, a member of Nawab Yusuf Market Complex’s Shop Owners Association, told that the traders had prevented the demolition of the risky markets due to lack of trust in the City Corporation. Because, the City Corporation has a fixed time limit for demolishing and re-constructing a multi-storied market (three/four floors). Usually, it takes one and a half to two years. But they could not finish the construction work of any market on the scheduled time in the past days.
On average, each market takes eight to 10 years to build. And at this time, the city corporation does not make any alternative arrangements for sitting the traders. Now if the market has to be broken, alternative seating should be arranged.
9 high risk DNCC markets
In 2013, 9 markets of Dhaka North City Corporation came out as risky in a report of BUET. At that time, the city corporation hung dangerous red signboards on these buildings. But business does not stop there. Millions of people are going to buy risk in these markets every day.
Sources in the property department of DSCC said, Mohammadpur Town Hall Paka Market and Mohammadpur Kachha Bazar, Yellow Building of Gulshan North Kachha Bazar and Gulshan Dakshin Paka Market, Mohammadpur Rayerbazar Market, Karwan Bazar Kitchen Market, Karwan Bazar No. 1 Building Market and Karwan Bazar No. 2 Building in Ward No. 26. Market and Karwan Bazar Arat market of raw material is on the list of high risk.
When asked about the demolition or removal of these markets, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam told that there have been incidents of fire and building collapse in various markets recently. We have no choice but to get tougher on DNCC’s risky markets. Soon we will install red signboards in nine markets of DNCC. Later, I will determine what to do in the construction of these markets.
He said, we have started work on shifting caravan market. Others will be relocated or new markets will be built. Businessmen should cooperate in this regard. The Institute for Planning and Development (IPD) organized an online discussion on ‘Fire in Bangabazar and Fire Risk in Sub-Informal Market: IPD’s Observations’ on April 8. In the event, it was called to take immediate initiative to install fire hydrants for firefighting in every market.
When asked, Executive Director of IPD Professor Adil Muhammad Khan said that the City Corporation and Fire Service have been absolved of liability in markets identified as highly vulnerable to fire or collapse. It was the responsibility of the City Corporation, the owner of the markets, to take complete fire safety measures in the markets to avoid loss of life and property. Businessmen’s non-cooperation and indifference are also responsible in this regard.

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