A total of 350 brick kilns in Narayanganj district were posing severe health hazard of the inhabitants living at the surrounding areas of Narayanganj. Many of those brick-kilns were running by violating the government rules, without considering the environmental damage and the threat on human health.
Environment office sources confirmed, out of total brick kilns, 30 to 35 are obeying law, while 28 are running with litigation and others are running with some faulty conditions.
Some dishonest brick kilns owners, in violation of the environmental rule, are grabbing riverbed of the both sides of the Buriganga river-at the east side of Baktabali and the Alirtek unions and at the west side of Kashipur union where more than one hundred brick fields have been set up under Fatulla police station.
Chairman of Baktabali Union Parishad Shawkat Ali said, at least fifty nine brick kilns are in operation at his union. Some land of Baktabali union is at the east side of the Buriganga river and most other areas at the west side of the river.
Most of the brick kilns stand on the embankment of the river which is hampering navigation. Besides, none of the brick producers have purchased any land. No administration, even chairman of union parishad concerned did not take any step against river grabbers and the encroachers.
A source of a union council where brick kilns have been set up and running business, said the union gets only Taka 500 from each brick kiln owner yearly while government realizes a revenue of Tk 7,000 only from each brick kiln a year.
Replying to a query, an official of Baktabali Union Parishad, said that the brick kiln owners never think to take any no objection certificate from the union as they could easily receive those from the department of environment.
Land office of three unions-- Baktabali, Kashipur and Alirtek-- sources said, most of the brick kilns had been set up on khas land as per RS (Revisional Survey) record.
Once it was at the bottom of river under water level and now it rises up again but not a private property. However, some people with evil intention have made fake deeds of the lands.
On the other hand, dwellers of the union claimed, their trees are failing to bear fruits and production of crops being hampered at the adjacent areas of the brick kilns.
Because of cutting of fertile land from crops fields, lands were losing fertility and farmers were becoming jobless.
Low-height chimneys of the brick kilns emit smoke that causes health hazard and trees of surrounding areas losing to bear fruits, complained a few sufferers of char Kashipur village.
License of brick kilns is issued by the local Deputy Commissioner office after scrutinising all evidences of environment department and concerned union council’s “no objection” certificate.
Three land offices of the unions did not even issued any notice to the illegal land grabbers.
A brick kiln owner said, "Union Parishad takes money in the name of 'No objection' certificate, Environment department takes money in name of Law and the Deputy Commissioner office realises money in name of local relief (LR) fund. But, we always remain guilty as illegal operator of brick kilns."