The Ceramic (China Clay) project under Patnitola Upazila under Naogaon district is slumbering for decades due to negligence of the authorities concerned.
According to sources, a very promising project of mining of China clay remained tapped under files for more than 50-year after liberation of the country. The china clay discovered during the Pakistani era at Zia Bazaar, a place bordering Patnitola and Dhamoirhat, still remained untapped and no one knows whether the project will be implemented at all.
It is learnt, in 1958, the then Pakistani government sent a high powered team to explore the possibility of excavation of minerals from near a pond at Ambati village of Zia Bazaar, five kilometre north from Patnitola -Dhamurhat road. The investigation team identified miles of areas surrounding the village the presence of best quality china clay( a material used for making ceramics goods, insulation and other usable) some 2,000 feet deep of the surface. The discovery pulsated the people of the northern region of the country with new hope and aspiration. The same investigation team also discovered the coal deposit in Jamalganj and Joypurhat districts.
The investigation team also made a survey of the region and prepared a report of huge commercial possibility of the china clay deposit in the area. However, due to reluctance and indifference of the then Pakistani government, the china clay project at Patnitola remained piled up under the rubble of files. People of the locality were demanding to excavate and mine the china clay to expand ceramic industries and employment of hundreds of people in the project. But, the project location being situated at a remote area, no step to explore and excavate the valuable material has so far been taken by the Bangladeshi governments even after 47-years after liberation.
Abdur Rahman son of Alim Uddin Akanda of village Ambati under Patnitola upazila on whose land the mining team had conducted tests and found the presence of huge quantity of best quality China clay informed, soon after detection of the china clay, a Pakistani mining team conducted excavation deep under the surface soil with nearly 100 labourers. The mining investigation team used their own boring machine and established an electricity generator that made the entire village illuminated. The team stayed about 10-year at Ambati village and a large market was also established at the village centering the mining team.
The then Pakistani mining investigation team identified four points of the China clay mine projects and marked those four point with cement pillars. The Geologists and Geoscientists who conducted investigation in the area informed local people that at the deep underground some 2000 feet away there lies a huge deposit of China clay and other valuable stones and the government will soon take measure to explore the untapped resources. After the testing and being confirmed of deposit of the china clay and other valuable materials underground, the geoscientists sealed those four opening points with cement and rocks.
Owner of the land informed, there was no initiative from the government to explore the china clay ores lying under ground but the heavy pillars and walls the mining team erected on his land was a cause of trouble to cultivate the land. He further said, several times he tried to up root those pillars with the help of local masons but failed to break those. He further informed, may be some day those demarcation pillars and walls uprooted and there will be no way to identify the spot from where the experiment of excavation of china clay once started.
Hamid Babu, a shopkeeper at Ambati village informed, many people still visit the Ambati village to have a look at the pillars for the china clay mine.
It is alleged, due to negligence and indifference of the concerned authorities, the promising China Clay project of Patinitola remained unfinished for decades. Local people demand to the government to implement the project as soon as possible to generate employment in the area and to develop the region commercially and economically.