A brick kiln has been built on a large area of arable land in Kaunia upazila of Rangpur without getting clearance from the departments concerned, causing apprehension among the farmers that it could adversely affect crop production.
RKR Bricks, owned by Waheduzzaman Khoka of Haragachh municipality, is located on 30 acres of land at Sadhu Kuthirghat (Kanipara) in the upazila.
Locals said paddy, maize, potato, jute and vegetables are produced round the year, and many farmers also grow Aus paddy on the land.
Khoka took the 30-acre land on lease from some influential locals for building the brickfield, assuring them that he would pay them Tk 15 lakh annually, locals said.
The brickfield owner is now trying to expand its area, they alleged.
Nazir Hossain, a farmer of Kuthirghat village, said hundreds of farmers of two villages, including Nazirdah, are very worried that they will have to face many problems when the brickfield starts functioning.
“We are helpless as nobody is taking action against it,” he said.
Farmers said Khoka took the land on lease from Mozibar Haji, Abdul Mannan and Delwar Hossain.
“We are afraid of talking against them,” a farmer said.
The smoke from the brick kiln will hamper crop production, farmers of the area said. Milu Mia, owner of a cropland close to the brickfield, said his land might become unusable when the brickfield starts baking bricks in the coming season.
“Everybody knows about the bad impact of a brickfield,” said Md Kamruzzaman, a professor at Kaliganj Chandrapur College. Besides the crops, the brickfield can affect the health of the public and wildlife, he added.
The owner violated the law as building a brickfield on arable is prohibited under the Brick Kiln Control Act 2013, locals said.
Kaunia Upazila Agriculture Officer Saiful Alam said his office did not issue any clearance letter to RKR Bricks.
Khoka said he will get all the relevant papers soon.
Rangpur DEA Deputy Director Mezbabul Alam said RKR Bricks did not obtain any clearance certificate from his office.
Rangpur Deputy Commissioner Enamul Haque said he will take against RKR Bricks soon.