Shop owners and staff of Gulshan 1 DCC market have blamed the city corporation authorities and Metro Group for the deadly fire that broke out early Tuesday and damaged several hundred shops.
Shop Owners’ Association Chairman Sher Mohammad has claimed most of the 328 shops have been damaged in the fire, causing a loss of around Tk4,000 crore.
“The Dhaka North City Corporation wants to build a new establishment on this land. The authorities floated tender for the new building in 2010 without any consultation with the traders and Metro Group got the contract,” he told the Dhaka Tribune Tuesday morning.
Two petitions filed against the decision are pending with the High Court.
“We are 100% sure that gunpowder was used to set fire to the market; otherwise, the building would not have collapsed. Metro Group is involved in the arson attack.”
Sher Mohammad claims: “It was a pre-planned attack. The authorities of Metro Group and Dhaka North City Corporation hired miscreants to torch the market and evict us.”
Association Secretary Abul Kashem has threatened to wage movement if the authorities do not compensate them. “The DNCC authorities must allocate us plots in the new building, and return the booking money we had deposited.”
The DNCC owns a kitchen market and a super market on a seven bigha land. The market was set up in 1962 and shops were allocated to businessmen in 1983.
The traders also criticised the fire fighters for taking much time to reach the spot and failing to put out the fire quickly. Fire Service officials said that they had not found enough water in the adjacent buildings.
DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq, however, claims that the fire was an accident. “It might have originated from an electric short circuit,” he told reporters.
Asked about the allegation of an arson attack, the mayor said that it was the police’s duty to investigate the matter and the cause of the fire.
“However, we are 99% sure that it was an accident,” Annisul said.
Source: Dhaka Tribune