Brick kilns destroy 3,000 bighas of land in Narayanganj
NARAYANGANJ, Jan 21: Brick kilns are burning bighas of croplands in the district.
Paddy, jute, mustard and other croplands are getting destroyed due to black smokes. According to sources, 23 brick kilns in Fonkul Village are devouring farmlands.
This village is located in Musapur Union of Bandar Upazila. There are 23 brickfields in this village.
There is no provision for raising brickfields within one kilometre area of any marsh, farmland, govt road, or inhabiting area. But this rules are not maintained in setting up brick kilns in that locality, official sources said.
Not only that, soils are being lifted from these lands, and these are being used in manufacturing bricks. Croplands are losing fertilities due to the lifting of surface soil, farmers said.
About 3,000 bighas of cropland in Fonkul Village of Musapur Union have been destroyed.
By the next year, this destruction will increase manifold, locals feared.
One inhabitant Md Anwar Hossain in Fonkul Village said, "The main income source was agriculture here. All vegetables would grow here. In Bandar area, Fonkul was unique for farming. But in the last four years, Fonkul has no cultivation. There are now 23 brick kilns. But there were only three ones four years back. In these four years, 19 more brickfields have grown up."
He added, brick fields are few yards away only from houses; poisonous smokes have destroyed all things; flowing with breeze, smokes are destroying houses; brickfield proprietors are influential; they threaten if there is a protest. Sometimes, administration conducts drive; but immediately after that the brickfields resume operations.
A visit found the most old brickfield is at Barpara area adjacent to Fonkul Village. Its proprietor is Noorjamal Mia. There are two other brick kilns of Latif and Alamgir in that village. These three kilns are very old. But in the last three/four years, more 20 ones have grown up.
According to sources, very few numbers of brickfields have environment certificates, and most of these are operating without legal certificates. With regular campaigns, brickfields are running regularly.
An association has been formed of these 23 brick kilns. Its president is proprietor Aynal Haq of Mayer Doa Brickfield, and proprietor of Narayanganj Brickfield Suman is its general secretary.
But brickfield business is controlled by Chairman of Musapur Union Maksud Hossain. He is proprietor of two brickfields in Fonkul area. Besides, he has shares in several brickfields.
When contacted over cell-phone with Maksud Chairman, he refused to make any comment in this connection.
Deputy Director of Department of Environment (DoE) in Narayanganj said, "I went to that area. Some brickfields have DC and environment certificates. I am in favour of demolishing brickfields. But many things depend on magistrates. I do not want to intervene in their decisions."
He further said, 'In the case of agriculture land, agriculture officers will see this issue. We depend on them.'
Besides, he added, the area is not so densely populated, but there is habitation. It is right that environment gets harmed if 22-23 brickfields are in a place, he mentioned.
Bandar Upazila Agriculture Officer Farhana Sultana said, in the case of crop, Musapur and Kalagachhia unions are most green. She acknowledged, many complaints are being received from local farmers. "We find it harmful. But brick kiln proprietors are very influential. If they want, they can do anything."