POST TIME: 17 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Brick kilns must follow rules

Brick kilns must follow rules

Despite the ban on the use of woods in burning bricks, the country’s brick kilns are rampantly burning woods and are harming the environment. According to a recent report, the Department of Environment (DoE) jointly in drive with Magura district administration fined at least 13 brick kilns for illegally burning woods. We often come about news of fining the dishonest brick kiln owners, but it seems that they could not be prevented from doing this illegal activity. More strong measures are urgently called for.

However, there are many other complaints against the brick factories apart from the illegal use of logs. Many a brick kiln is operating in the country without having any legal permission. Moreover, brick kilns are also reported to be located in the residential areas and agricultural lands. According to the rules, brick kilns need to have environment-friendly long chimneys with the height of 120 feet to 130 ft and are permitted to use coal for fire. But most brick kilns are not following the either of these legal imperatives.

As a result, the guilty brick kilns owners not only cause serious air pollution causing health hazards such as asthma and but also loss of soil fertility reducing crops production in the relevant places. We have seen in the past that the affected people of a locality, Kurigram for example, complained to the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Divisional Commissioner, Directorate of Environment and the local administration, without any fruit in this regard.

But the fact is the environmental danger resulting in various diseases and reduction in crops production from brick kilns is huge. The owners of brick kilns hardly follow the Brick Burning (Control) Act of 2001 that prohibits use of wood and bamboo stumps for burning bricks and huge quantities of timbers and immature bamboo stumps are being burnt in majority brick kilns of many areas. There are instances when keeping some coal outside the kilns, owners showed up that they were abiding by the rules but in actuality they were burning woods and bamboos inside.

From the environmental point of view, the problems arising from illegal brick burning have to be taken very seriously. We therefore strongly urge the relevant authorities including the district administrations and DoE to bring to book the illegal brick kiln owners and oversee that bricks are being burnt following the stipulated rules. Bangladesh must now learn to fully implement the relevant environmental laws.