Greedy brick kilns devours top soil
A news report recently published in this daily regarding cutting and sales of surface soil of crop lands simply portrays the utter disregard for nature of our soil smugglers. Reportedly, such rampant surface soil cutting and trading in Chilmari Upazila of Kurigram district for use in different brick kilns has left hundreds of acres of farmland uncultivable. Surface soil ranging from 2 to 6 feet is being lifted from over hundred areas including Hariar Chhara, Beparir Bazar, Ghugghur Haat,Chachhlar Beel, Raniganj, Koyarparh, TeesterParh, Puthimari, Mozaidanga, Miledanga, and Matial.
Most worryingly, such indiscriminate lifting of top soil is causing significant loss of fertility to these lands for the missing of Gypsum and Zinc. Moreover, lifting of top soil also causes loss of adequate germ and microbiological actions in lands suspending any form of cultivation for a long time. As top soil is directly linked to the quality yield of crops, we apprehend, its missing might lead to immense food crisis in the area in the days ahead.
Allegedly, by persuading land owners with easy cash back unscrupulous brick field owners and traders are pinching out top soil from their croplands. What gives rise to our concern is that if such soil lifting goes on rampant centring the land owners profit mongering tendency, its adverse impact will fall on us in myriad ways. In addition to mushrooming of unauthorized brick kilns, it will simultaneously pose serious environment risks.
However, the report has once again exposed our sheer apathy towards country's peasant community. As farmlands are at the heart of everything in farmers' lives, we think such extraction of top soil goes directly against farmers' livelihood too. We don't oppose against having adequate brick kilns with growing urbanization in the country. But, in this case we suggest owners running the brick kilns industry to look for alternative sources of cropland's top soil as their key raw material.
We believe what is going on in Chilamri's cropland goes in sharp contrast with present government's agro-friendly spirit. No denying of the fact that current government has taken a number of agriculture projects with specified allocations in the budget. But of what benefit subsidies and loans on easy terms to farmers deliver, if the country's croplands turns barren?
This is not the first time that the news of rampant extraction of top soil from our croplands by dubious brick kiln owners has struck headline. But had proper measures been taken, recurrence of such worrying news reports would not have taken place. We draw urgent attention of local administrations of aforementioned areas that are fast turning infertile due to rampant and illegal top soil extraction.