from Our Correspondent
BHOLA, Jan 9: Indiscriminate felling of trees for use as firewood in the brickfields has been affecting the environment of Bhola district since long.
A large number of brickfields have been set up in different upazilas of Bhola district in an unplanned way posing a serious threat to environment.
It is learnt that owners of almost all the brick kilns of the district have been burning bricks by using firewood as fuel without the permission of the local authority. As a result, a large number of fruit-bearing and other trees are being felled indiscriminately affecting the environment of the district. Most of the poor people in the rural areas of the district are selling their fruit-bearing and other trees to meet the expenses of their families.
They do not know what a devastating impact they are leaving on the environment by selling the valuable trees.
Local people said that the owners of brickfields have been using firewood in the brick kilns violating the ban imposed by the government. They are doing it under the nose of the law enforcing agency personnel. According to law an accused may be fined Taka 50,000 including 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
According to a reliable source the government’s brick burning act permits a brickfield on minimum 1.5 acres of land but many brick field owners use three to five acres of land for setting up a brick field. According to the law a kiln owner must construct a 50-feet high chimney with filter in each kiln for emission of smoke, but most of the brickfield owners construct lower chimneys. Brickfields should be set up on barren lands but most of the owners set up brick fields on crop lands. As a result the number of cultivable lands is decreasing in the district. According to brick burning act coal must be used in burning bricks, but most of the brickfield owners are violating this act outright. Local people and experts have urged the authority concerned to take steps to stop this practice.
Source: The Independent , Wednesday 10 January 2001