Illegal brick kilns back in business
Local farmers are getting frustrated as two illegal brick kilns, demolished by the local administration over one and a half years ago in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila, have started operation once again.
In February last year, Lalmonirhat Department of Environment (DoE) conducted a mobile court drive and demolished two illegal brick fields -- SUN Bricks and SIR Bricks -- which were set up illegally on farmlands at Purbo Saptana village in the upazila.
The owners of the two brick kilns, however, repaired those quickly and resumed operations shortly after the mobile court left the area.
Locals said the two brick fields had been set up illegally on croplands around 20 years ago.
Although the fields were demolished during a drive in 2021, they never stopped their operations, they said, adding that even though the DoE took action in the face of agitation from local farmers, it did not yield any result.
Farmers said due to emission of toxic smoke and heat from the brick kilns, vast croplands around the brick fields are losing their fertility, and people were not getting expected harvest.
Farmer Abul Kashem said the owners of the brick fields are so influential that no one dares to protest out of fear of being harassed.
"If such activities don't stop immediately, our agricultural production will halt," he added.
Contacted, owner of SIR Bricks Entazur Rahman, and Ashiqur Rahman, proprietor of SUN Bricks, declined to make any comment.
Rangpur DoE Inspector Manwarul Islam said a case has been filed against the owner of SIR Bricks on November 24 for continuing illegal operation even after demolition.
The official said they will look into the issue and take further action.