The rapid declination of arable land for the expansion of homestead and use of topsoil for brick manufacturing has become a major concern nowadays. If the government fails to prevent the practice, the country or at least overpopulated areas would face a severe shortage of arable land. Besides, the country will have to face its subsequent effects such as food shortage and the worsening environmental ecosystem. It needs forming of appropriate laws to protect arable lands, detailed plan for vertical expansion in rural areas for housing for a growing number of people, and encourage environment-friendly hollow-bricks and put an embargo on using topsoil for bricks. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics in a data showed that the country is losing approximately 68,700 hectares of arable land every year -- most of it going to housing and industrialization. An estimated 25 billion pieces of conventional bricks are manufactured in the country every year by damaging 100 million tonnes of topsoil. The government in 2001 formed a policy to protect arable land but most people are ignorant about the policy. A confusing situation has been created over the proposed act's approval as its draft was prepared in 2011. Instead of destroying the fertile topsoil, abundantly available river-dredged soil could be a primary raw material for manufacturing alternative bricks or building blocks. The growing urbanisation and population growth devour large scale of arable lands, while brick kilns destroy topsoil that ultimately rubs out the fertility of lands. The conventional brick manufactured by burning coal and ruining invaluable topsoil create a devastating effect on agricultural production and achieving sustainable development. We must say, the people should start using hollow blocks immediately instead of conventional bricks to save fertile topsoil and conserve the environment. It's unwise to destroy the country and food production for mere unsustainable development. Implementation of laws is very much necessary in this regard.
Editor: A.M. MUFAZZAL, Managing Editor: ARSHAD HOSEIN.
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