Brick kilns on farmland poses serious health risk
Several brick kilns, set up on farmland or close to educational institution, destroying fertility of vast agricultural land in the district.
Moreover, toxic gas from the brick kilns are posing serious health risk to students of different schools close to the brick kilns as well as local residents.
Locals claimed that the brick kilns are continuing their operation without getting approval from the Department of Environment (DoE).
During a recent visit to Kamalganj upazila this correspondent saw a number of brickfields being set up on agricultural land, residential areas and even close to educational institutions.
According to Moulvibazar DoE, Ibrahim Brick Kilns, Safari Brick Kilns, MMB Brick Kilns in Kamalganj were not been given clearance of environment certificate while license of Mohsin Bricks has been cancelled.
Apart from the above four, two more brickfields have been set up on agricultural land adjacent to Kataltali Government Primary School.
According to the existing environmental law, no brick kiln can be constructed within three kilometres of any educational institutions, hills, research institutes and localities.
Farmer Abdul Baten of Patanushar village said a brick kiln set up next to his farmland releases toxic gas all the time.
Moreover, horrible sound of soil-carrying tractors can be heard from dawn till late at night, he added.
Denying the allegations, Ibrahim Mia, owner of Ibrahim Brick Kiln, said he is running the brickfield with proper approval.
Nahid Ahmed, director of MMB Bricks, said DoE has set June 30, 2022, as the deadline for clearance and shifting the brick kiln to another place.
Kamalganj Upazila Health and Family Planning Officer Dr Mahbubul Alam Bhuiyan said as a result of setting up brickfields near residential areas or educational institutions there is a possibility of getting infected with various diseases like allergies, cough, breathing problem and pneumonia.
Nurul Mohaimin Milton, general secretary of Bangladesh Environmental Journalists Association, said although the DoE has approval of 65 bricks kilns in Moulvibazar, hundreds of bricks kilns are running without legal permission.
Badrul Huda, assistant director at Moulvibazar DoE, said 18 out of the 65 brick kiln in Moulvibazar have not been given environmental renewal clearance this year.