Brick kilns set up on or close to agricultural lands wreak havoc to crops in different areas of Rangpur and Lalmonirhat districts.
Toxic gas from two brick kilns damaged boro paddy on about 230 acres of land at Asmatpara village under Damodarpur union in Badarganj upazila and Bhogirath-Machhari village under Sarai union in Kaunia upazila in Rangpur district during last couple of days, reports our Rangpur correspondent.
“I cultivated boro paddy on around two acres of land but toxic hot gas of ANB Bricks totally damaged it,” said Abdul Baki, 50, a farmer of Bhogirath-Machhari village in Kaunia upazila.
Kaunia Upazila Agriculture Officer Mahabubur Rahman said he visited the affected area and found that boro paddy of at least 80 acres of land was totally damaged by the toxic gas from ANB Bricks.
Abdul Mottaleb Sarker, upazila nirbahi officer of Kaunia, told this correspondent that he assured the affected farmers of help to realise compensation for the damage.
Contacted, Alamgir Hossain, owner of ANB Bricks, said he will compensate the affected farmers as soon as possible.
In Badarganj, toxic hot gas from UBL Bricks damaged paddy on 150 acres of land belonging to 80 farmers at Asmatpara village.
A large number of trees including fruit bearing mango, jackfruit and litchi trees were also affected by the toxic gas.
Ziaul Haque, agriculture officer of Badarganj upazila, said he visited the affected boro fields, prepared a list of the affected farmers and submitted it to the authorities concerned.
“I have already asked the owners of the two brick fields to compensate the affected farmers for their loss,” said Rangpur Deputy Commissioner Farid Ahmad.
The affected farmers of the two upazilas have demanded removal of the brick kilns to save their crops from regular damage.
Our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports: Around 60 affected farmers have demanded compensation as flying ash and thick smoke from a brick kiln have damaged boro paddy and other crops on vast tracts of land at Chandonpat village of Kamlabari union in Aditmari upazila under the district during the last one week.
The burning of high-sulphur coal in nearby brick kilns has damaged boro paddy on about 30 acres of land and threatens boro and maize on more 20 acres of land at Chandonpat village, locals said.
“We are having trouble growing crops since the SAB Brickfield went into operation two years ago. The smoke from the brick kiln also affected a large number of trees including mango, jackfruit and bamboo,” said Afsar Ali, an affected farmer, also a local UP member.
Hamidur Rahman, upazila agriculture officer of Aditmari, said he visited the damaged boro and maize fields, made a list of affected farmers and submitted it to the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO).
“The crop damage may be due to the burning of environmentally harmful high-sulphur coal imported from India. While burning, this type of coal emits poisonous sulphur dioxide,” said Aditmari UNO Rezaul Alam Sarker.
“I will take necessary step to realise compensation for the affected farmers,” he added.