A brick kiln operating at full-throttle at Ramnathpur village under Khulna’s Paikgachha upazila Dhaka Tribune
Lands become barren, and people suffer from all kinds of diseases
Air pollution is one of the main problems affecting the quality of life in Bangladesh, and consistently, illegal brick kilns have been among the worst offenders in that area. It is high time these polluters were shut down — the toll taken on the environment, public health, and the economy in years to come could be incalculable.
A particularly miserable case study in this regard is Ramnathpur village, under Khulna’s Paikgachha upazila. This village, once perfectly suited to agriculture, situated on the banks of the Kopotakkho river boasting extremely fertile land, is now on the verge of doom. The vast majority of the people in Ramnathpur were employed in agriculture; now their fates are uncertain. The reason is quite simply that illegal brick kilns have heavily polluted the air, and covered the land with ash and soot.
This village is a textbook case for how illegal brick kilns, flouting all regulations, can wreak havoc. Lands become barren, and people suffer from all kinds of diseases as a result of the toxic air. There is no way such operations can be allowed to continue in good conscience.
While we pursue the goal of economic development, we often forget the need to protect the environment at the same time. Yes, production is important, but factories must comply with the rules, and the government must strictly enforce laws intended to protect the environment.
In the end, economic activity is meant to elevate our standard of living, and the government should, to that end, be uncompromising in shutting down the polluters who reduce our standard of living by making us sick and harming our lands.