RAJSHAHI, Mar 19: Fruits and leaves of various trees are dying due to impact of deposited dust, fumes, smoke, ash, toxic carbon and sulfur gas disposed from the brick kilns of the district.
In addition to fruits and leaves, flowers of mango and litchis are also being destroyed due to the toxic impact.
Farmers whose fields are located within 1.0 km to 3.0 km away of the brick kilns have also complained that the fields were not yielding sufficient crops in compared to previous years. As a result, they were being forced to sell their land to the owners of brick kilns.
Officials of the departments of agriculture and environment have, however, informed, they were well aware of the situation and taking action against those brick kiln owners who were using top soil of crop land to make bricks.
According to the rules regarding setting up of brick kilns, it has been made mandatory to establish a brick kiln at least 3.0 kms away from any cultivable land. But, none of the brick kilns owners of the district were adhering to the rule. As a result, green crop fields of the district look grey.
Specially, banana is rotting, turning dry and leaves of banana trees are drying up and dying. The green coconuts are turning dry, the flowering of mango and litchis is also hampered by 'burning' and drying away.
Such a bleak scenario is being noticed elsewhere at the crop fields of Paba, Durgapur, Bagmara, Durgapur and Godagri upazilas.
In Mirzapur village under Bagmara upazila, brick kilns have been constructed in crop fields. By the side of Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj highway, at least 10 brick kilns have been set up in densely polluted villages and cultivable land. There are several hundred brick kilns beside the roadside of the highway.
Every year those brick kilns were grabbing more and more crop land of surrounding areas using top soils of those land and ultimately turning those land barren.
Farmers living nearby those kilns complained, due to toxic impact of those brick kilns, the fruits like mango, banana, papaya and coconuts were being destroyed. Also the vegetables and rice near those kilns are also not growing normally.
Shasmul Haque, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) of Rajshahi has warned the farmers of the district not to let their cultivable land be used for other purposes except for agriculture.
In this connection, he said no brick kiln should be constructed on a cultivable land where two or three crops are grown in a year.
Mamunur Rashid, deputy director of the department of Environment has assured to take stern action against any violators of rules in making brick kilns at crop fields and thus destroying agricultural land and its top soil.
According to the source of department of environment, there are 76 brick kilns in Rajshahi district. During last three months, five brick kilns were destroyed and Tk 0.1 million was realised from the owners of those illegal brick kilns.
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