Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon yesterday said they will take legal action and cancel licences of establishments that will be found storing 29 most hazardous chemicals at shops and warehouses.
The DSCC mayor also said they will seal off the offending factories, warehouses and shops.
He was visiting chemical factories in Mitford area in Dhaka's Babubazar yesterday noon, according to a press release.
Khokon said they have spoken to businessmen and reached an agreement on 29 identified chemicals that are most hazardous. These chemicals can cause fire to break out, he added.
The chemicals include ethyl alcohol, 2-Ethylhexanol, Isopropyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), Thinner B and Diacetone alcohol.
“We will take legal action against traders who store these chemicals,” said the mayor.
He said they will assist businesses that do not store these hazardous chemicals in getting their licences renewed.
“Don't keep excessive amount of chemicals in your shops. Rather, keep chemicals in distant warehouses,” he said.
In yesterday's drive, DSCC renewed licences of establishments.
Earlier this month, DSCC declared the drive at chemical warehouses and factories in Old Dhaka.
According to Bangladesh Environment Conservation Rules 1997, no industry -- using hazardous chemicals or goods -- can operate in and around a residential area.
More than eight years after the devastating fire in Nimtoli that killed 123 people, chemical warehouses -- considered prime fire hazards -- are still being run in Old Dhaka, due to lack of proper action by the authorities concerned.
According to locals, some 1,000 chemical warehouses, factories and outlets are still being run in the over-populated residential areas, although DSCC has stopped providing new licences as well as renewal of old ones since last year.
The chemical warehouses and stores are mostly located in Mitford, Armanitola, Kayettuli, Agamasi Lane, Islambagh, Bangshal, Shaheednagar, Chawkbazar, Imamganj and Babubazar areas.
According to a survey of Fire Service and Civil Defence conducted at the end of 2017, a total of 360 factories and stores of chemicals were found in the areas under wards 24 and 35 of DSCC. However, the real number would be more than that, said locals.