Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today came down heavily on a section of people for their attitude during any fire incident, urging them to change their mentality and help douse the blaze instead.
“When a fire incident takes place, huge number of people usually gather at the place of occurrence creating obstruction to the fire fighters to extinguish the blaze. Most of them go to see the fire and they take selfie … I cannot understand that what happened to prompt them to take selfie,” she said.
“Not taking photo, they should bring some buckets of water and join the drive to extinguish fire … they will have to change their mindset and think about how to help douse the blaze,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League (AL) president, made the remarks in her introductory speech at a meeting of the AL Central Working Committee at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.
The prime minister said those construct and use buildings have responsibilities for checking incidents of fire. “It’s the responsibility of the fire service to extinguish the fire. But those who construct and use buildings have responsibilities so that incidents of blaze do not occur,” she said.
“I will say that they have also a responsibility, but they don’t perform it. If any incident of fire happens, the government is blamed for that,” she continued.
Sheikh Hasina said there must have an arrangement for extinguishing the fire while constructing any building and the users of the buildings must have knowledge about what they will have to do during any fire incident.
“Most of the buildings are constructed in such a way that there is no fire exit and the fire exit is closed while making interior decoration. And in the case of the market, the fire exit is used as stores of goods of the shops,” she said.
The prime minister advised the people not to bring any destruction for themselves while going to use every inch of buildings for profit. “Don’t bring destruction for yourselves and become penniless while going to use every inch of the buildings for profit,” she said.
The prime minister said when the fire fighters go to douse blaze some people, after being excited, make attacks on them unnecessarily, showing reasons that why their vehicles delay to come to the place of occurrence.
“The people sometimes vandalize the vehicles, the price of which each is Tk 9/10 crore,” she said.
“Instead of attacking the fire fighters, if they try to douse the flame and join the rescue drive, then we would have considered it as a good work,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said a fire fighter is fighting for life while going to douse the blaze in the Bannai FR Tower fire incident. “But nobody inquires about him,” she said.
In this connection, the prime minister said the government has made arrangements for sending him abroad by an air ambulance for better treatment.
Sheikh Hasina also criticized a section of people for constructing buildings by filling up water bodies. “There were a huge number of ponds, canals and water bodies in the capital, but those were filled up and there is a tendency to construct buildings while seeing ponds,” she said.
The Gulshan and Banani lakes, she said, were almost filled during the regimes of Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad. “A BNP Village was set up by filling the Banani Lake,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina came down heavily on the United States for issuing alert for its citizen living in Bangladesh.
“We saw suddenly that the USA issued an alert, but they didn’t say why they issued the alert and didn’t give any explanation,” she said.
The premier said that she had already asked the authorities concerned to look into the matter and take information why the USA issued that alert or whether they have any information.
“If they have any information about any incident that is going to take place (in the coming days), then it is their responsibility to inform us so that we could take steps to face the incident,” she said.
Referring to recent fire incidents in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said such incidents happen in all countries in the world. “Fire incidents take place in the USA frequently and hospital and fertilizer factories were burnt to ashes there and nobody knew that how many people died in the blazes,” she said.
The PM added: “70 people were killed in a fire in London and nobody conducts rescue operation for days after days like us.”
The AL president said terrorism is not a problem only for Bangladesh, rather it is the problem for the whole world.
“Bangladesh contained terrorism and militancy successfully, after one incident we are very much aware and our intelligence agencies are working round the clock, if they (the USA) have any sort of information they should inform the appropriate authority,” she said.
The prime minister said that Bangladesh is in the top five growth attaining countries and it is natural those who did not want the independence of Bangladesh will not like to see the country advancing smoothly socioeconomically.
“They had hatched conspiracy in the past, but we are moving forward, and we will further advance, all have to work so that our march towards the success shall continue,” she said.
About the defeat of the BNP in the 30th December election, the Awami League chief said the BNP suffered the debacle in the last general elections as they lost confidence and trust of the people due to their indulgence in terrorism, militancy, killing and money laundering.
“Sensing the defeat, BNP leaders were engaged in nomination trade,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina vowed that the nation will celebrate birth centenary of the Father of the Nation in 2020 and the golden jubilee of independence in 2021 by establishing poverty-and -hunger-free country.