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Tuesday, December 23, 2014, Poush 9, 1421, Safar 29, 1436 Hijr

50 brick-fields in Satkhira facing closure due to shortage of coal
M Zillur Rahman
Published : Tuesday, 23 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 7
SATKHIRA, Dec 22: Production in at least 50 brick-kilns in the district is feared to be stopped due to shortage of coal, causing a serious setback to the progress of the industry.
If bricks are not produced in due time, it would cause loss of hundreds of crores of taka, the owners of the brick-fields claim.
The president of Satkhira Brick-field Owners Association Abdur Rauf said, there are over 100  brick-kilns in Satkhira district. If coal is not supplied in due time, the brick-fields will suffer a huge loss. Another alternative, that is burning logs, would make the environment polluted, he added.
The owner of a brick-field Rezaul Islam said that the brick-fields are near to closure, and raw bricks which have already been prepared would be damaged if they are not sent to the burners in time.
The owner of Stone Brick Sahidul Islam said, in the fiscal year 2011-2012, as per a direction of Forest and Environment Department, owners converted all the brick-kilns to zigzag system for which 30 to 35 thousand tonnes of coal are required every year.
Importer sources of Bhomra Land port said, a court of India imposed restriction on lifting coal in a case filed by the environmentalists. As a result, since May 16 coal import to Bangladesh has been stopped. On an average, 200 labourers are engaged in a brick-field; if the crisis persists, at least 10 thousand labourers would be jobless.
Abdur Razzak who came to work in AB Brick Field at Maskhola of Sadar upazila said, they are not finding alternative way for burning bricks as there is restriction to burn woods as well.
Many people came to work in brick-fields here. If the process of burning bricks is not started shortly, they all would be jobless, he added.
According to another sources, at least 50 of the brick-kilns in the district are using firewood instead of coal. As a result, hundreds of trees are disappearing and the climate is changing day by day, posing a serious threat to the environment.
When contacted Deputy Commissioner of Satkhira Nazmul Ahsan said, the brick-kilns are facing acute shortage of coal, but there is no opportunity to make fire logs  as an alternative.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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