COMPENSATION TO RANA PLAZA VICTIMS
Govt misses deadline to respond to HC orderM Moneruzzaman
The authorities have missed the deadline to report to comply with the High Court directives regarding compensations to the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse or their families, and the action and safety measures for the risky garment factories.
The High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the directives suo moto on April 30 after the Rana Plaza at Savar, which housed five garment factories, collapsed on April 24, leaving more than 1,100 people killed and scores injured.
The compensations should be determined by a committee headed by the general officer commanding at the Savar Cantonment, who led the rescue teams, including army personnel. ‘A copy of the report must be submitted in one month,’ said the court order. The deadline for submission of the report was over on May 28.
The committee members would include the general officer commanding at Savar Cantonment, the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police in Dhaka, and representatives from the BGMEA, health and labour ministries, BUET’s civil engineering department, Dhaka University’s disaster management department, BSMMU, and architect Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and physiologist Mehtab Khanom.
Deputy attorney general Al Amin Sarkar, who was posted to the court, told New Age on Thursday that he had received only one compliance report on the Ranna Plaza disaster.
The lone compliance report from the deputy commissioner and the chief inspector of the factories and establishments was about the missing workers, he said.
‘I think he [the GOC] has formed a committee regarding the compensation issue,’ Dhaka deputy commissioner Harun-ur-Rashid told New Age.
The GOC, Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy, told New Age on Saturday that he could not remember whether the court order was served to him.
He, however, said that it was for the labour ministry and the BGMEA to decide what amount of compensation would be given to the families of the deceased and injured workers.
Suhrawardy said that the prime minister was distributing compensations and suggested that her personal secretaries should be asked about what criteria were being followed in this regard.
The other court directives were that the government should inform the court about what preventive measures they had taken in respect of all buildings and structures which were posing threat to human lives and property.
‘We direct Rajuk to submit in two weeks a list of the building within its jurisdiction and the measures they have taken,’ said the court.
The BGMEA was asked to furnish in two weeks a list of the garment factories which it had certified to have been constructed meeting all legal requirements, including fitness of factory building approved by a qualified engineer, having all adequate security measures and workable atmosphere, including fire extinguishers and other conditions required for safety.
The chief inspector for factories and establishments was directed to furnish in two weeks a list of the buildings having adequate workable atmosphere.
The court directed the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police, and upazila nirbahi officer of Savar to confiscate all immovable and movable property the Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana owned, to facilitate compensations to the victims.
It also asked the inspector general of registration to issue a circular so that Sohel Rana could not transfer his property to others.
The bank accounts of Rana Plaza owners and the owners of Eather Text Ltd, New Wave Bottoms Ltd, New Wave Style Ltd, Phantom Text had been frozen after the court’s order, said deputy attorney general Al Amin Sarkar.
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