Brick kilns being set up in arable land

Dhading, October 21

Known as the capital of vegetable farming until a few years ago, Dhading’s Dhunibesi Municipality is slowly turning into a preserve of brick plants now.

Brick kilns are being set up here one after another these days after the government banned setting up of new brick kilns and reconstruction of the old kilns in Kathmandu valley in a bid to control air pollution.

Following the ban, targeting the bigger market of the valley, brick kilns are being set up in places like then Naubise, Jiwanpur, Chhatredeurali, Bhumesthan and Thakre village development committees.

At present, there are more than four dozen brick kilns in operation in Dhunibesi Municipality and Thakre Rural Municipality. “Huge swathes of farmland full of green crops until four years ago have now turned into a site where monstrous chimneys are spewing out smoke polluting the surroundings,” said Ramji Regmi of Thakre Rural Municipality-11.

A single plant has acquired some 200 to 500 ropanis of farmland on lease for operating brick kilns. Though a few farmers used to grow vegetables in their land, they had to give up farming and rent out arable land to brick kiln operators after the plants operating next to their plot affected farming.

Dhunibesi Municipality Mayor Balkrishna Acharya said the present problem was caused by the approval given to brick kiln operators without much thought. “As we can’t afford to allow more brick kilns to operate here, the municipality has made strict laws and hiked tax for new brick kilns,” he said.