Many rural roads under different upazilas of the district have been facing threat of collapse as local brick kiln owners continued removing the topsoil from roadside farmlands, using excavator machines.
Locals alleged that although Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) authorities are well informed about the matter, they are yet to take any legal action in this regard due to unknown reason.
Besides, fearing unnecessary harassment by the influential brick kiln owners, local people are not dared to protest or complaint to the authorities concerned.
As the brick kiln owners' are taking away five feet to six feet deep topsoil from the roadside farmlands, it may trigger sudden collapses to the government roads during the rainy season, Azizul Islam, 50, a resident of Devirpat village in Aditmari upazila, said, adding that although they have informed the LGED authority about the menace, they are yet to take any steps against the perpetrators.
“Random movements of trucks to and from the nearby brick fields' have been gradually damaging the newly constructed road of our village,” Nabiar Rahman of Nawdabansh village in Hatibandha upazila said.
Schoolteacher Shahenur Rahman, 45, of Dalgram village in Kaliganj upazila, said although owners of the nearby brick fields earlier used to collect the topsoil by hired labourers, this year they are collecting it by engaging excavator machines.
Shahidul Islam, operator of one of the excavator machines at Devirpat village, said Habibur Rahman, owner of Tapati Brick Field, pays him Tk 1,300 per hour for running the machine.
“I can dig up to around 2,000 cubic feet (CFT) soil in an hour,” Shahidul said.
Brick kiln owner Habibur Rahman, however, declined to make any comment in this regard.
Lalmonirhat LGED Executive Engineer AKM Amiruzzaman said he already visited some spots and was taking preparation to submit a written compliant to the local administration, seeking their intervention,” he said.
Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Shafiul Arif said he will take necessary legal action against the dishonest brick kiln owners if anyone files any written complaint.