Brick kilns destroying farmlands

Demolish illegal brickfields

Published : 29 Mar 2022 10:44 PM | Updated : 30 Mar 2022 01:26 PM

Brick kilns operating illegally across the country continue destroying the arable lands and entire ecosystem. Besides, they are also posing serious threats to public health under the very nose of the authorities concerned every day.

A large number brick kilns have been built by occupying the banks of most rivers across the country. Apart from arable lands, the fish in the rivers are also being destroyed. 

There are about 7,500 brick kilns across the country and many of them have been running illegally. Local influential people have established the brick kilns on agricultural lands especially beside the banks of rivers, causing extensive damage to plants for black smoke and ash, subsequently decreasing crop production.

Necessary steps should be taken to conduct mobile courts to 

demolish the  illegal brick kilns across the country immediatel

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The influential people took possession of the river bank as well as the surrounding lands of the government. Bricks are being made at those kilns by cutting the soil of the sandbars of the area, forcing the river to change its direction. Apart from the banks of rivers, these influential groups are also setting up brick kilns beside bazaars, croplands, educational institutions and fruit gardens.

People who live adjacent to the brick kilns area are suffering from respiratory and heart problems due to harmful smokes from the illegal brick kilns while crops and plants are being destroyed due to the smoke. The horrible sound of soil-carrying tractors on every earthen and paved road in the village can be heard from dawn till late night across the country. 

The High Court on March 14 directed the government to demolish all 130 illegal brick kilns in Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati, to curb environmental pollution. The court also ordered deputy commissioners of the three Chattogram Hill Tract (CHT) districts to take appropriate action, which includes filing cases against owners of the brick kilns.

Influential people are not only operating brick kilns in three CHT districts but also there is same grim scenario throughout the country. The fume from the brickfields ruining the environment and the trucks and tractors carrying the soil and bricks are damaging rural roads there.

According to the 'Brick Manufacturing and Brick Kiln Establishment (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2019,  the establishment of brick fields in residential, protected, commercial and agricultural areas, and also in forests, sanctuaries, wetlands and Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) is prohibited. It said the establishment of brick kilns in the prohibited areas will be treated as a criminal offence, with varying degrees of punishment for offenders to be determined by the nature of the areas involved. But the brick kiln owners are breaking almost all these rules. 

Such illegal operation of brick kilns should not be tolerated anymore. If the deputy commissioners, department of environment and the department of agricultural extension sit idle instead of taking action against all illegal occupants, the situation will take a serious turn in coming days. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to conduct mobile courts to demolish the illegal brick kilns across the country immediately.