Anantnag: Last year the brick kiln owners hiked the prices of bricks by around 10000 Rupees citing the government’s denial of permission to bring the labour from outside states. The government granted the permission to outside labourers after the brick kiln owners assured the authorities that they will bring down the prices of bricks.
However, the kiln owners continue to sell bricks at the same rates as before triggering public outcry. The authorities in most of the districts including Anantnag later fixed the rate for a truck load of bricks at 22000 rupees excluding carriage.
However, more than a year later, the bricks in the district continue to sell at 28000 to 30000 rupees.
With brick kiln owners not giving damn to the government fixed prices, people belonging to middle class or lower middle class have been forced to delay or halt their constructions.
Tariq-ul-Islam from Dachigam Srigufwara has completed the plinth of his house in June and since then has been waiting for the brick prices to come down.
“After completing the plinth level of my house I decided to wait for brick work till the brick rates come down. Later when the district admin fixed 22000 Rs as the rate for truck load of bricks I had a sigh of relief. But since then I have been visiting all almost all the brick kilns but they clearly refuse to sell the bricks at government fixed rates,” Tariq said.
Three of the brick kiln owners, he said, asked him to go to district administration to get bricks at 22000 Rupees.
Another resident, Javed Ahmad Shah from Bijbehara who has also halted the construction of his house due to the skyrocketing of brick prices rued the non-seriousness of authorities in implementing fixed rates.
“I have a small business and had started constructing a small house out of my hard earned money. But if the brick rates continue to sell at same prices I don’t think I will be able to restart the construction. Authorities should stop this loot on part of brick kiln owners. If they fail to do so it will be impossible for labor class to even think of constructing houses,” Shah said.
The brick kiln owners refused to speak over phone when asked about the rates.
“I spoke to three brick kiln owners and asked them about brick rates but all of them told me to come to the office and that rates are not discussed on phone. They fear that their calls may be recorded which will land them in trouble later. They are playing very smart,” said Sameer Mushtaq of Anantnag town whose house is under construction for the last one year.
An officer of the district administration who is part of the committee to check the violation said that they have started a drive against such brick kiln owners.
“We have taken a strong cognisance of the matter and the enforcement team will be directed to go tough against the brick kiln owners violating the government fixed rates,” the officer said.
The Deputy Commissioner Anantnag last week, acting on the public complaints ordered the implementation of the brick sale rates fixed and notified vide no. 325 of 2020. Deputy Commissioner in the order constituted a committee headed by AD, CA and PD to ensure the implementation of the brick prices.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.