More than one-fourth brick kilns in Khulna district are operating illegally as 45 of them did not renew their licences.
Sources at the Department of Environment’s Khulna office said 130, out of 175 brick kilns, in the district have renewed their licenses.
As per law of the land, it is illegal to operate such establishments without a licence or without renewing permission – costing Tk 12,500 – from the district administration.
Locals accused brick kiln owners of violating the law by using fuelwood and blamed lax supervision by the Department of Environment.
Bangladesh produces an estimated 25 billion bricks every year. Sixty million tonnes of topsoil is excavated to meet this demand, according to the Housing and Building Research Institute.
Brick kilns are believed to consume 5 million tonnes of coal and 3 million tonnes of wood annually. In this process, they release 15 million tonnes of carbon into the air.
DoE’s Khulna Divisional Deputy Director Habibul Haque Khan said bricks kilns, which did not renew licences, manufacture bricks using the old method. “They’ve to follow new brick manufacturing method for licence renewal,” he said.
He said a shortage of manpower interfered with their work. “We’ll take actions against them to the best of our abilities,” he added.unb