Minister stresses countrywide building safety
20 December 2015, Nirapad News: Emphasizing the importance of ensuring building safety across the country, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday said Bangladesh does not want to see any death due to manmade disasters.
“We don’t want to see any death due to manmade disasters. All will have to follow building code in constructing buildings both in urban and rural areas,” he said.
The Planning Minister was speaking as the chief guest at the joint launching ceremony of ‘Urban Building Safety Project and Urban Resilience Project: An Integrated Approach to Enhance Urban Resilience in Bangladesh’.
The government, Japan International Cooperation agency (JICA) and the World Bank (WB) jointly arranged the event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Mustafa Kamal stressed ‘zonal mapping’ to determine the type of building in various parts of the country – both in urban and rural areas. “We need to check whether buildings are being constructed properly in rural areas.”
Emphasizing the need for creating public awareness on building safety, the Planning Minister said Bangladesh does not want to see any Rana Plaza-like disaster in the future.
“The entire world is now at serious stake due to manmade causes. Due to climate change, the global temperature is on the rise and many areas are going under water,” he said.
Mustafa Kamal said all the unplanned buildings are at risk due to non-compliant of soil test and building code. Not only that, Dhaka is also at serious risk of disaster like earthquake, he said adding, “Apart from creating public awareness, all must be more cautious while constructing buildings.”
The Planning Minister said Bangladesh can minimize the losses caused by unpreventable disasters like earthquakes through public awareness. “We’ll have to check how buildings are being constructed in villages. The government has taken initiatives in this regard,” said the minister.
Housing and Public Works Secretary Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah and Disaster Management Secretary Md Shah Kamal also spoke on the occasion with Senior Secretary of the Economic Relations Division Mohammad Mejbahuddin in the chair.
Asia Pacific University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury delivered the keynote speech on ‘challenges and way forward on urban resilience in Bangladesh’.
JICA, Bangladesh Chief Representative Mikio Hataeda, WB specialists Marc S Forni and Swarna Kazi, JICA senior representative Hiroyuki Tomita and PWD Executive Engineer Rafiqul Islam shared their expert opinions.