Toxic smoke from brickfields damages fruit trees, paddy fields at Parbatipur
Published : Saturday, 6 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 130
PARBATIPUR, DINAJPUR, June 5: All seasonal fruits and crops including mango, litchi, and paddy are being damaged at Parbatipur Upazila of the district due to black and toxic smoke emission from messy brick kilns.
Burning is taking a heavy toll on different ecologically-enriched orchards of banana, mango and eucalyptus. Also, the tin-roofs of houses are receiving burning. Land pieces are losing the fertility following lifting of top soils for manufacturing bricks.
Crop productions have registered a decline in the locality due to the cut in the fertility. To get rid of it, hundreds of locals have complained to Parbatipur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) demanding compensations. Around 2,000 people became victims of burning and destruction. The adult and children are getting physical problems including respiratory illness.
A complaint signed by local people was submitted to the UNO by a good number of victims including Tariful, Rejaul, Shahinur, Abdul Mazid, Mostafa Zaman and Hasinur of Dakkhin Polashbari (Dhulaudal) Village of Hamidpur Union.
The copies of it were forwarded to Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rangpur Environment Department, all upazila agriculture offices including that of Parbatipur.
It was put in the complaint that seven brick kilns located in two wards of Dakkhin Polashbari and Hamidpur moujas have no legal papers. Of these, six kilns - Sohagi Bricks, RM Bricks, Sia Bricks, Ekota Bricks, AR Bricks and AK Bricks - are running production activities in a wholesale-manner. The other one has been laid down by the owner on ground of legality-want.
In the complaint, it was stated that if the brickfields continue for long, in the coming days, mango and litchi orchards, and crop fields in the locality will be damaged.
A mango grower, Aminul Islam Bachchhu, 52, said due to the harming impact of the toxic smokes emitting from kilns, only 1,200 of total 2000 trees in his orchard have been productive this season. Even the bottom parts of mangoes are getting perished. Most of these are just dropping down.
The growth and size of the surviving mangoes are very stunted and small.
Earlier, the garden would give him a turnover of Tk 8 lakh. But this year the wholesalers are turning away seeing the size of the fruits.
He was echoed by another Mostafa Zaman, 50, who referred to his three-acre orchard.
Burnings of mango-litchi orchards, bamboo bushes and homesteads were also reported by others including Liakat Ali, 65, having an orchard of 400 trees, Kamruzzaman having 1.5-acre and Abdur Rahman 2-acre orchards.
In a tune, they said all the brick fields are located within one kilometre distance. Because of toxic smokes, they have rendered almost all-lost.
According to them, 8,000 to 10,000 people are regularly being affected physically and economically in the locality. It was complained to administration several times.
There are 50 brick fields at Parbatipur Upazila including 19 ones at Hamidpur Union. Of the total, three kilns have the legal documents. And allegations have been made against six brickfields.
Proprietor Haji Rezwanul Haq of AR Bricks said he had been running brickfields since 2011, but receiving no complaint. He said he had certificate of no-objection from the Environment Department. But he has yet to get the certificate this year.
"Earlier, no-objection certificate would be given allowing kilns within 1,000-metre of cultivable lands. Now the limit is 500 metres," he pointed out.
He hopes to get the certificate for his kiln, which is located within 800 metres.
Proprietor Haji Kalam of AK Bricks said his field has been running since 2018; now this year a complaint has been raised, he added.
Mass signatories of the complaint including Rakibul Haq Tutul, Zillur Rahman Sarkar, Aminul Haq Bachchhu, Shahadat Hossain and Md. Shafikul Islam said instead of coal, coal dusts, buttons, plastics and rubber are being used as fuels in the brickfields. As a result, toxic gas and black smokes are destroying trees and crops in addition to causing respiratory diseases, they added.
Assistant Director Mihir Lal Sardar of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said there are rules for using high quality coals in brick kilns. No-objection certificate is not supposed to be issued to those who will flout it, he pointed out. He added it is concerning that coal dusts and other things are being burned.
Parbatipur Agriculture Officer Rakibuzzaman said six brick kilns have been alleged. "I've already submitted the investigation report to the UNO office."
UNO Shahnaz Mithun Munni said, the agriculture officer has been assigned to investigate the matter. Necessary steps will be taken soon.