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Bangla brick kilns hit by coal export ban

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Jan 12 � Thousands of brick kilns in Bangladesh have been badly affected, with some facing imminent closure, after coal export from Meghalaya was hit due to the coal mining ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Deputy Commissioner of Kurigram district in Bangladesh, ABM Azad said here today, during a first-of-its kind DC-level meet between India and Bangladesh, that nearly 60 per cent production in �Thousands of brick kilns� dependent on coal from Meghalaya has been hit.

�If coal export remains closed many of these brick kilns would be closed. We have requested Indian authorities to allow import of coal from Meghalaya,� Azad said after the meeting.

The Kurigram DC said that at the DCs level this issue was discussed and ways are being identified so that coal export from Meghalaya could resume for the brick kilns to maintain their normal production.

The coal export to Bangladesh had come to a standstill after the NGT placed an interim ban on mining for destroying the environment through unscientific methods.

The NGT would be holding its sitting again and decide, but during this period the Tribunal has put in a lot of checks and balances for the unregulated coal industry to follow. Some of these modalities are being closely monitored by the State Government officials appointed by the NGT.

Apart from the brick kilns, many cement and clinker units in Bangladesh have also been affected after coal export was stopped. Although, coal from Meghalaya is high in sulphur content, several cement plants prefer Meghalaya coal due low cost and the ease in getting the mineral.

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