Staff Correspondent: Brick kiln owners over the country have been facing serious set back due to shortage of coal. A few kilns are operating with the fuel woods but the price of brick has doubled in the recent months.
The coal import almost stops due to the LC crisis for short of dollar in the commercial banks and the brick prices have stood at Tk 15 per piece. It could be hiked further if the kilns can’t operate by coal, said the owners.
Due to coal shortage in Nilphamari, the kiln owners are in trouble with the production of new bricks. Traders said that coal prices have increased due to non-import due to LC complications. Coal is not matched with money. Due to the coal crisis, there is a fear of brick kiln closure.
On inquiry, it is known that there are about 64 brick kilns in the district, big and small. All brick production depends on coal. Although the brick-burning season has started long ago, due to the coal shortage, most of the kilns are still unlit.
Talking to the kiln owners, it is known that the price of coal per metric ton was Tk 9-20 thousand in 2020-21 season. This time its price has increased by about Tk 30,000.Mahmudar Hossain, the owner of Jaldhaka Khutamara MH Bricks told, “I paid the coal money a long time ago. Got the coal yesterday. The coal that I used to buy for Tk 9,000, now its price is more than Tk 30,000.
He said, ‘Now the price of bricks is already high. It is not possible to say how much will happen after that. We are not getting coal as compared to the demand. Even then, I started brick production with risk. The rest is up to God.
They are struggling to determine the price of every thousand bricks considering the cost after the production of bricks. The kiln owners said there is a risk of loss if the price is set higher.
Abdul Hai, the owner of Duhuli NBL Bhatta said, “The price of coal is three times higher than last season. Transportation costs have also increased. In this situation, we are struggling to determine the price of new bricks. If you determine the price of new bricks, it will be seen that it is falling more than 15 thousand rupees (currently the price of every thousand bricks is 8-9 thousand rupees). This will have an impact on the common people, as well as the development of public and private infrastructure. There is a risk of loss to us. A request to the government to quickly remove the coal crisis.
Tenganmari SBL kiln manager said, ‘We have not received coal yet. Now I am thinking whether to set fire or not. If there is a fire and production stop due to lack of coal, then it is a problem.
In this regard, Abul Kashem, owner of Sayedpur coal trader M/s Noor Traders told, “The importers say that it is not possible to bring coal as there is no LC.” This is the main reason for the price increase. We have nothing to do here now. We are only supplier. I buy and sell from importers. We are also victims of it.
Talked to Dewan Selim, President of Nilphamari Bricklayer Owners Association. He said, “All in all, we are in trouble.” The cost of everything is increasing, including the labor cost of cutting the soil. Earlier I bought the coal at Tk 9-22 thousand, now I have to buy it at 31 thousand. Can’t tell if it’s because of LC complexity or syndicate. However, if this situation continues, most of the kilns will be closed.
Asked whether wood is being burnt due to coal shortage, he said, “All brick kilns in Nilphamari are coal-based.” Which runs on steam system. There is no such thing.
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