The deputy commissioners (DCs) of three CHT districts -- Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati – have submitted separate compliance reports to the High Court after shutting down 64 illegal brick kilns in the three districts as per the court order.
According to the report placed before the bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Fatema Najib on Wednesday, the Rangamati district administration shut down 25 illegal brick kilns, while 34 kilns in Khagrachari were shut.
Besides, the Bandarban district administration has halted the activities of two brick kilns in Ali Kadam upazila, three in Lama upazila and several brick kilns in Naikhongchhari upazila.
Senior Lawyer Manzil Murshid, who moved for the petition in the court, said, "No brick Kilns can run without a license according to Section 4 of the Brick Preparation and Kiln Installation (Control) Act, 2013. However, the mobile courts kept slapping fines on the illegal brick kilns."
After paying the fines slapped by the mobile courts, the owners of illegal brick kilns have been carrying out business as usual, causing serious damage to the environment, he added.
On 25 January, a virtual HC bench gave directives to shut down all illegal brick kilns which are running without a licence in the three districts, Khagrachari, Bandarban and Rangamati, in seven days to curb pollution and save the environment.
After hearing a petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), seeking its directives, it also asked the authorities concerned to submit a report after complying with the directive in two weeks.
The court also ordered the DCs of the three CHT districts and the offices of DoE concerned to submit lists of the brick kilns operating without a licence to the HC in six weeks.