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The government of Bangladesh has cracked down on unauthorised restaurants


A Rajuk mobile court raided and demolished a rooftop restaurant in Gausia Twin Peak, Dhaka on 4 March 2024 for violating the regulations.


The government is more aggressive against businesses that violate fire safety laws and approved designs. The action is in response to the fatal fire that occurred at the Green Cosy Cottage building on Bailey Road in the nation's capital on Thursday.


Numerous organisations, notably Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakhha (Rajuk), the city corporations of Dhaka, and law enforcement authorities, have taken coordinated action. Spurred by mounting worries that the widespread violations endanger residents' safety, these agencies have started their campaigns.


One of the agencies involved has a senior officer who claims that the operations are part of a larger plan to ensure regulatory compliance. Two teams participate in the drives; one gathers information about businesses that have disregarded Rajuk's orders, while the other conducts drives based on the data from the first team.


Rajuk destroyed a rooftop restaurant in the Gausia Twin Peak building located on Sat Masjid Road on Monday as part of the drive. The establishment's disregard for permitted plans and regulations led to the demolition.


Tajina Sarwar, the Executive Magistrate and Director of Rajuk Zone-3 disclosed that the building, which was first approved for office use, was discovered to be unlawfully holding 12 eateries and food court enterprises.


Similarly, the 11-story Keari Crescent Tower building has been sealed off by the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), which has been heavily involved in the crackdown. The building's recognised fire safety hazards, which posed a serious risk to its occupants and nearby properties, prompted this action.


Leading the inspection team was Executive Magistrate Md. Jahangir Alam found numerous abnormalities on the property. Among the concerning finds were poorly maintained LNG gas tanks, blocked emergency escape routes and poor building techniques.


The examination also uncovered apparent flaws in the structure and arrangement of the offices inside the facility that process visas. Authorities were deeply concerned about rooms made of materials that could catch fire, so they took quick action.


To ensure that those in violation are held accountable, Executive Magistrate Md Jahangir Alam ordered arresting persons connected to the illicit activity. Following that, Tk 3 lakh in fines were given.


Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) teams have inspected more than 50 restaurants in Wari's Rankin Street neighbourhood since Sunday night and have detained 16 individuals for violating fire safety regulations. 


Speaking to reporters in front of his Minto Road office on Monday, Detective Branch (DB) chief Mohammad Harunor Rashid stated: "The Bailey Road fire claimed the lives of around 46 individuals, including the daughter of one of our police officers who was a deserving student at Buet. Had every agency performed its duties as assigned, such occurrences might not have happened. As a result, we are looking into each restaurant to find out if any of them violate fire safety laws. We inspect those locations to ensure adequate exits for prompt evacuation and air circulation routes. Should we discover any anomalies, we will promptly notify the relevant authorities.


Such mishaps are caused by negligence. However, we only search for it after something occurs. Rules are not being followed, and buildings are being built at random. This would not have happened if every one of these buildings had been searched beforehand. Events like those at Bangabazar, Nimtoli, and Banani's FR Tower would remain the same.


Ashraful Islam, Rajuk's chief town planner, emphasised the seriousness of the situation and the urgent necessity to deal with infractions as soon as possible. 


 "Tampering of approved designs, fire exits, closing of parking places and management of restaurants are being prioritised in the operation," he stated.


Identifying and remedying high-risk sites inside the city have been made possible via the collaborative efforts of many government entities. Coordination amongst authorities minimises potential risks to public safety and expedites enforcement measures.


In response to questions, he reaffirmed the government's dedication to continuous efforts to protect citizens and property. The prioritisation of routine inspections and enforcement activities will persist, specifically resolving infractions in residential complexes and commercial spaces.


We perform 12 to 14 operations a month relating to housing projects as part of our usual job. We have increased our raids against these establishments since the problem of illegally operating restaurants in different kinds of structures is becoming more and more pressing, Ashraful Islam continued.


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