From Hossain Seraj
Magura, Jan 1: Mushroom growth of brick kilns in the district has been threatening the environment.
At least 43 brick kilns have been set up in different parts of the district without the permission from the Environment of Department.
A reliable source said at least 17,20,000 maunds of firewood will be burnt in these 43 kilns in violation of rules.
Khan Mazharul Huq, a teacher of Nakol College in Sreepur upazila here, said the kilns are threatening the ongoing campaign to protect the environment.
Another source said some brick kiln owners, who have applied for permission with the local authorities, have already started their business without taking any approval. As per Brick Burning Control Act 1992 one may be sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment or fined Tk 50,000 for violating the law.
Local people said brick field owners buy trees from the poor villagers and use those in connivance with a section of dishonest government officials, although there has been a taskforce for keeping vigilance on the illegal practice.
Experts said the Act allows maximum 1.5 acres of land for a brick field but many kiln owners use 4 to 5 acres of land for setting up of a kiln.
According to the law concerned, kiln owners are to install minimum 50-foot high chimney with filter in every kiln for emission of smokes, but most of kiln owners use lower chimneys, giving rise to the pollution. A circular from the Land Ministry in 1990 said Deputy Commissioners can only allow ‘unfertile’ and ‘fallow’ land for setting up of brick fields. But in the district many kilns have been set up on arable lands.
Some brick kiln owners, however, said crisis of coal has forced them to use firewood in kilns. Crisis of coal has been prevailing in the area for a long time, they loaded.
Local people have urged the authorities concerned to take steps to stop the illegal practice.
Source: The Daily Star,Tuesday, January 2 2001