Lifting of the mid-stone from the Maddhapara Granite Mine, the only granite mine in Dinajpur as well as the northern part of Bangladesh, has increased but the sale has decreased.

In this situation, the workers and the local residents dependent on quarrying are now facing losses. They hope that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources authorities would take step in this regard and enforce the proper sales structure to make the quarry profitable.

Workers and locals said that although stone is being quarried in good amounts from the facility, but the quarry faces economic turmoil due to the decrease in sales of stones.

Germania-Trest Consortium (GTC), one of the leading contributors to the quarry project’s success, has created a new record of lifting 1, 23, 000 tons of stone in the country from the Madhyapara solid rock quarry every month.Despite the new record for stone quarrying made in October 2018, there are currently 3 lakh metric tons of stone left in nine stock yards in the quarrying area for poor sales management of stones, worth around Tk 70-80 crore.

According to Madhyapara quarry sources, even if the GTC company extracted millions of tons of stone every month, the Madhyapara stone quarry (MGMCL) authorities are not able to sell even 50 percent of the stones on average.

The current season is the best time for selling stones. Yet due to the sales policy of the Madhyapara quarry authority and lack of business savvy, the company is deprived of an estimated income of Tk 10 crore per month.

It may be mentioned here that due to the inefficient marketing practice of Madhyapara stone quarrying authorities in mid 2015, the country’s only hard stone quarry was closed down due to the trickle-down effect of 7 million tons of stones from nine yards being left unsold. If the present reserve of stones continues to pile up rapidly, then the stone quarry may very well be closed again.

In this situation, the workers and the local residents dependent on quarrying can directly face unpredictable losses in their lives and livelihoods.

If the government required LGED, Facilities Department (education), Public Works Division, Roads and Highways Department and government agencies to use the stones of Madhyapara, on one hand the government’s revenue would have increased and the country’s money would remain in the country, plus the company would not have faced such huge loss. But it is seen that stones from Panchagarh and imported stones from India are being used in government work. Panchagarh and imported stones are also being used for the construction of primary and high schools, colleges and big bridges in Bangladesh. Therefore, the Madhyapara stone quarry is increasingly falling behind economically.

The locals hope the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources authorities would take step in this regard and enforce the proper sales structure to make the quarry profitable.

MA Salam, Dinajpur