Agargaon slum burns to ashes
Published: 2013-02-03 06:54:12.0 BdST Updated: 2013-02-03 16:53:43.0 BdST
A big fire gutted at least 500 shanties at a slum in Dhaka’s Agargaon on Sunday.
Fire Service and Civil Defence Director M Abdus Salam said the fire broke out at the ‘Agargaon Bazaar Busti’ (slum) behind the Divisional Passport & Visa Office at around 12:15pm.
“Nine fire-fighting units doused the fire after battling for one hour.”
But the fire-fighters could not say how the fire originated at the first place nor could they give details of the damage.
Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station’s Sub-Inspector Israfil Alam said there were no reports of casualties until now.
The victims said there were at least 500 shanties in the slum built over two acres of land owned by the Public Works Department (PWD). They said the fire burned down all the shanties.
However, SI Alam claimed there were only 130-135 shanties in that slum.
Meanwhile, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar PWD-3 office’s accounts official Mohammad Nur Hossain told bdnews24.com: “The land was PWD’s. An office of the telecom regulator (BTRC) was supposed to be built on that land.”
He said notices were also sent to the residents several times asking them to move from the land.
State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak also visited the scene after receiving the news of the fire. Foods were also arranged for the victims at noon at two local schools following his order.
One of the victims, Chatpati seller ‘Rozina’, 28, said, “We have lost everything to the fire. We have no idea where we will go now.”
Another victim, ‘Rosy’, 26, told bdnews24.com that before Agargaon slum, her family lived at the Razabazar slum in the capital. She said they came to live here after Razabazar slum was gutted. But the fire has made her family homeless again.
A similar fire broke out had also blazed through a slum near the Hazaribagh beribandh, on the outskirts of the capital on Jan 21 burning down at least 40 shanties and 25 rickshaws. In another incident, 11 people were burned alive to death in a fire on Nov 18 last year at the Boubazar slum at Hazaribagh.
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