SRINAGAR — Despite being penalized from time to time, the brick kiln owners across Kashmir valley have been looting customers at will while the government is acting as a mute spectator.
The rate fixed by the government doesn’t mean anything to brick kiln owners. People busy with construction work are being left with no option but to pay what is being demanded from them.
A tipper loaded with bricks should cost Rs 21,000 – the rate fixed by the government, however, brick kiln owners demand Rs 31,000 per tipper and the amount reaches up to Rs 33,000 when labour is added to it.
From time to time, the administration penalizes the brick kiln owners and yet they don’t mend their ways and openly loot the customers.
Firdous Ahmad, who is busy with the construction work of his house, needed bricks. Every brick kiln overcharged him. “I paid Rs 31,000 finally to a brick kiln at Lasjan, though the government rate is only Rs 21,000,” he told the news agency KNT.
He said the brick kiln owners loot people openly and yet the government is doing nothing. “The inaction from the government emboldens these brick kiln owners,” he added.
Ironically, government issues orders but fails to implement them on the ground. “You know a couple of years back, the Srinagar administration had issued an order prohibiting begging and you can see beggars in every nook and cranny of Srinagar city, especially at traffic signals. Similarly, the orders related to fixation of rates with regard to bricks have not been implemented on the ground,” said Aijaz Ahmad.
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