Dhaka, May 22: The High Court on Wednesday issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why directives would not be given to install fire extinguishers in all modes of public and private vehicles.The rule also sought explanation as to why directives would not be given to make fire-extinguishing system mandatory while giving route permits for buses and minibuses.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the rule following a writ petition filed in the form of public interest litigation.
The secretaries to Road Transport and Highways division and home ministry, chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence and Inspector General of Police have been made respondents to the rule.
Syed Misbahul Anwar stood for the writ petitioner while deputy attorney general barrister ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar for the state.
Advocate Abul Barakat Mohammad Sazzad and Al Bari Sohel filed the writ with newspaper reports on fire incidents that took place in vehicles in the recent past.
According to the reports, a fire broke out in Nur-Al-Makkah bus in Bashundhara Residential area on March 29. On February 10, 2018, another fire broke out in another bus at Banani.
On February 20, at least eight people were injured as a fire broke out in a Gabtoli-bound bus No 7 at Dhanmondi from a gas-line. On January 5, 2018, yet another fire broke out in a bus of Raida Paribahan at Farmgate following a gas cylinder blast which left 12 passengers injured. Besides, at least 15 people were injured following a fire at a BRTC double-decker bus in Savar on June 24, 2017.
The lawyers said around 2.50 lakh CNG-run vehicles are plying roads without having their gas cylinders tested and those are now vulnerable to fire.
BRTA issued an order on March 2, 2017 for using fire-extinguishing system in motor vehicles as per the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983 and that has to be ensured while providing route permits for buses and minibuses.
But this order is hardly ensured, said the lawyers.