Demolish all illegal brick kilns immediately

We applaud environment ministry’s move

Published : 24 Feb 2024 08:13 PM

We highly appreciate the move of the ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change to demolish illegal brick kilns, one of the major sources of air pollution in the country. Immediately after taking the oath, Environment Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury had announced 100-day work plan warning that 500 out of the 1,000 illegal brick kilns surrounding the capital Dhaka would be dismantled.

As part of the 100-day programme to demolish the illegal brick kilns in order to combat air pollution, the Department of Environment (DoE) has already demolished about 350 illegal brick kilns in the last one month. There are about 7,600 brick kilns across the country and 2,000 brick kilns of these are running illegally, according to media reports.

We express concern that the brick kilns operating illegally across the country continue to damage the arable land and entire ecosystem. Besides, they are also posing serious threats to the public health under the very nose of the authorities concerned every day. A large number of brick kilns have been built by occupying the banks of most rivers across the country. 

There are about 7,600 brick

 kilns across the country and 

2,000 brick kilns of these

 are running illegally

Apart from arable land, the fish in the rivers are also being destroyed while air pollution has a negative impact on the entire ecosystem and human beings. Massive burning of firewood in the brick kilns is causing air pollution which is now a major concern for the residents of Dhaka and nearby areas. Besides, it causes denudation of forests impacting the ecology.   

The brick kilns are affecting the environment and the health of the locals, particularly the young and the old. Many of them are suffering from respiratory problems.

Local influential people have established the brick kilns on agricultural land especially beside the banks of rivers, causing extensive damage to plants emitting black smoke and ash, subsequently diminishing crop production. The influential people took possession of the river bank as well as the surrounding lands of the government.

Bricks are being made at those kilns by extracting soil of the sandbars of the area, forcing the river to change its course. Apart from the banks of rivers, these influential groups are also setting up brick kilns beside bazaars, cropland, educational institutions and fruit gardens.

People who live in areas adjacent to brick kilns are suffering from respiratory and heart problems due to harmful smokes from the illegal brick kilns while crops and plants are being destroyed. We believe the authorities concerned will demolish all the brickfields now operating illegally across the country immediately.