Fire breaks out in Chalantika slum again
More than 100 shanties were gutted in the fire
Once again, a huge fire broke out in Chalantika slum in Dhaka's Mirpur area.
According to the locals, more than 100 shanties were gutted in the fire that broke out in the early hours of Friday.
Earlier, on August 16 last year, a huge fire consumed over one thousand shanties in the slum.
Yeanur Begum, a slum dweller, told The Business Standard the fire broke out from Rahima Begum's shanty at around 4:15am on Friday.
Two gas cylinders blew up after that and the fire spread rapidly within minutes, said Md Hanif, another habitant of the slum.
Parveen (35), a resident of the slum was admitted to the burn unit of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) with 90 percent burn injuries, told Abul Kalam Azad, officer-in charge of the Rupnagar police station.
Meanwhile, a man named Shahidul, had his leg injured while trying to escape the fire, the official said.
The victim was taken to a private hospital, said a fire service official.
The fire fighters could not confirm to number of casualties so far.
Josna Begum, a slum dweller said, "My parents came here around thirty years ago, before I was born. Five shanties in my possession and another 10 in my mother's possession have been gutted in the fire."
"Frequent incidents of fire in Chalantika slum is suspicious. Just around six months ago another devastating fire also gutted around a thousand of shanties," she added.
She sought an impartial investigation to find out the reason of repeated fire in the same area.
"Firefighters could manage to save only a few shanties in our part of the slum, all the other shanties had been gutted before they came," she said with agony.
Meanwhile, Lima Khanam, duty officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defence control room said, "After one and half hour's struggle, fifteen units of fire fighters brought the blaze under control at around 5:45am."
Md Hanif, a resident of Chalantika, said after shanties gutted in fire in August last year, the housing and public works ministry launched a building project to accommodate middle and lower income people on that spot.
Md Hanif alleged perpetrators set fire to the shanties displace the people and evacuate the area.
"After the ministry announced the project, we filed a writ petition to the High Court. A total of 126 people, including 36 freedom fighters, has signed the petition," he added.
"In the writ petition we asked if the displaced slum dwellers would be rehabilitated in the new building," said Hanif.
"If slum dwellers have to leave the place permanently, we wouldn't tolerate it. If they can stay in the new building, then we have no objection," he added.