The country has witnessed as many as 18,048 fire incidents in last one year causing an estimated loss of BDT4.30 billion, fire service officials said on July 22. "In the last one year from July 2016 to June 2017, some 18,048 fire incidents took place in the country which caused losses of BDT4.30 billion," said Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense director general Ali Ahmed Khan. He listed electrical short-circuit, burners' fire, thrown out burning cigarettes, and burning ashes as major causes of fire incidents. "Some 244 new fire stations will be set up at the upazila level across the country by 2019 under two separate projects to stop fire accidents and minimize the causalities," he said adding, "Currently, the process of land acquisition is going on for the project, to be completed by 2019 with funding from the government." Currently a total of 330 fire stations are operating in the country, he said.
Khan further said that they have submitted a project proposal to Disaster Management and Relief Ministry for taking a special initiative to make 62,000 urban volunteers at the community level to cope with Robi Axiata Ltd, will serve 38.7 million customers, giving it a market share of 28.7 percent. In the merged entity, Malaysia-based Axiata, the parent company of Robi, holds a 68.7 percent controlling stake, while India's Bharti Airtel has 25 percent share and Axiata's old partner NTT DOCOMO of Japan 6.3 percent share. Congratulating Robi on the completion of the biggest merger in the country to date, Tarana Halim, said, “The transparency in processdifferent accidents including fire and earthquake. The Fire Service director general hoped that when the 62,000 volunteers will be fully ready, they can cooperate with fire fighters in rescue operations to minimize the losses and causalities. He added that the number of houses, multistoried buildings, shopping malls, garments and industries are increasing rapidly because of urbanization, and, as a result, disaster incidents are also rising.