NAOGAON: Around 96 per cent brick kilns in the district are running without approval of the authorities concerned.
Sources at the Department of Environment, Naogaon, said, "There are some 203 brick kilns in the district. Of them, 38 in Manda, 35 in Naogaon sadar upazila, 26 in Badalgachhi, 20 in Mohadevpur, 21 in Dhamoirhat, 17 in Patnitala, 16 in Atrai, 12 in Raninagar, 10 in Porsha, 6 in Niamatpur and 2 in Sapahar."
"Out of the district's 203 brick kilns, only seven are running legally," the sources added.
According to section 8 of the Brick Manufacturing and Brick Kilns Establishment (Control) Act, 2013, the brick kilns cannot be established within the boundaries of agricultural land, gardens or wetlands, residential and commercial areas and some other sites.
But, most of the brickfields of the district are set up on the agricultural land and near the residential areas violating the law.
Local sources said making of bricks at these brick kilns usually starts in the middle of October every year and continues till middle of March of the next year.
During the time, farmers and residents of the adjacent areas incur a huge loss each year due to these illegal brick kilns.
Agriculture officers of the district DAE said, "Flying ash and toxic fume emitted from the brick kilns are causing serious damage to crops and fruit-bearing trees in the district."
"Besides, indiscriminate excavation of topsoil from arable land for the purpose of making bricks is affecting crop production significantly. Out of total 2,25,000 hectares of arable land of the district, around 2,500 hectares of fertile land are being used for making bricks each year, " they added.
Deputy Director of district Environment Department Makbul Hossain said, "The unnecessary and illegal brick kilns are polluting environment as well as affecting peasants' farmland here."
"Mobile court drives will be conducted soon in order to shut down the unauthorised brickfields in the district," he added.