We can no longer afford to let such negligence go unpunished
As of yesterday, 25 people are confirmed dead as a result of the fire which broke out in Banani’s FR Tower on Thursday.
With the memory of Chawkbazar still fresh in our memories, such an incident not only highlights the culture of negligence pervasive in our society, but also how we as a people and a nation have failed to protect innocent lives from being lost to the most tragic of deaths.
It is no doubt a day for mourning, especially considering the fact that these were deaths we could have prevented, if only we had been a bit more careful and vigilant, and a bit less corrupt in the way we have run after wealth, while sacrificing safety.
It is difficult to digest the fact that, over the last decade, there have been 16,000 fire incidents across Bangladesh, which have led to the loss of 1,590 lives.
This is a tragedy that is not confined to a single incident, but a continuous culture of ignorance and criminality which persists in taking the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens every day.
What we appreciate, however, is Public Works and Housing Minister SM Rezaul Karim’s claim that these deaths “are not accidents,” and the government’s decision to form several probes to find the ones responsible for these deaths.
At this point in time, we can no longer afford to let such negligence go unpunished. Everyone involved in the process of creating such a structure -- from government officials to the building managers -- must be brought to book, investigated, and punished, if they are found to have been negligent in their practices.
Of course, we must work towards better fire safety practices. But we must also continue to ensure that this culture of negligence is not allowed to persist.
It is the only way we can ensure that such an incident does not take place again in the future.