5 illegal brick kilns fined Tk 11 lakh in Kurigram

Five illegal brick kilns were fined Tk 11 lakh on Tuesday in Kurigram’s Fulbari upazila.

These brick kilns did not have any clearance from environmental clearance.

A mobile court, led by Executive Magistrate Md Abu Bakkar Siddique, slapped the fines around noon.

In Fulbari Sadar, JM Bricks was fined Tk 1 lakh, MA Bricks in Kharibari was fined Tk 2.5 lakh, AB Bricks in Ajoatari was fined Tk 1.5 lakh, WH Bricks near Gangar Haat was fined Tk 3 lakh and JMS Bricks in Shimulbari was fined Tk 3 lakh.

Drives against illegal brick kilns will continue, the mobile court said.

Brick kilns: Key source of air pollution

A report by the Department of Environment (DoE) and the World Bank published in March last year on the sources of air pollution in Bangladesh identified three main culprits – brick kilns, fumes from vehicles and dust from construction sites.

“Brick kilns are responsible for 58 percent air pollution in the capital. Plans have been taken to shut [traditional] kilns currently in operation. We’re working to produce eco-friendly bricks,” Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin had told UNB.

He said the government plans to stop burning bricks at kilns by 2025 and use block bricks to construct buildings under government projects.

Kiln owners have already been directed to produce 10 percent block bricks, the minister said, adding that it will be increased to 100 percent over time and the use of block bricks will gradually be made mandatory in private projects, too.

The DoE has been conducting drives against the illegal brick kilns for months now and slapping fines.

Shut all illegal brick kilns in Chattogram

The High Court (HC) on Sunday directed the authorities concerned to shut down all illegal brick kilns in Chattogram that do not have license within February 18.

The HC also asked to file an affidavit after closing all the illegal brick kilns including 71 others which were fined previously by the mobile courts.

The court fixed February 22 for next hearing over the matter.