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Friday, July 10, 2020

Brick prices soar further in Kashmir, authorities in ‘slumber’

People must approach us with formal complaint about exorbitant rates: ADC Budgam

Naveed Ul Haq

Srinagar, July 10 (KNO): The brick kiln owners in Kashmir have resorted to unprecedented price hike in the Valley, thus leaving the people to lurch at large. The rates as per the locals are being increased rapidly while the authorities concerned are acting as mute spectators.

According to the locals, one tipper load of bricks costs more than 30, 000 while the original price is Rs 18, 000 per 3, 000 bricks, or one tipper load.

Locals told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the price which was fixed by the government was Rs 18, 000 per 3000 bricks i.e. one tipper load but the brick kiln owners are selling the same now at Rs 30, 000 to Rs 34, 000, thus are looting the people at their will.

They said that the brick kiln owners have been selling bricks at exorbitant rates and they are selling “B Grade” bricks as “A Grade” at a price of around Rs 30, 000 per one tipper.

Nazir Ahmad, a local from Budgam village told KNO that brick prices are skyrocketing and common people can’t even afford to buy bricks at such exorbitant rates. “A tipper load i.e. 3000 bricks would cost Rs 18, 000 before COVID-19 pandemic but now the same is being sold at Rs 30, 000 to 33000, which is in violation of the government fixed rates,” he said.

Another local from Budgam said that they brick kiln owners are looting the people by charging exorbitant rates but not all of them are the same. Some owners are selling the bricks on good rates.

Meanwhile, the brick kiln owners told KNO that they have suffered huge losses from the last two years and due to COVID-19, they couldn’t make their brick kilns operational but had to pay the laborers their dues for no work.

They said that they operate their kilns on rented space and have to pay them in any situation.

However, District Magistrate Budgam was not available for the comments as he didn’t receive repeated calls.

Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Budgam, Dr. Nisar Lone told KNO that strict action shall be initiated against those found involved in charging exorbitant rates for construction materials like bricks.

He also said that the people should also approach them to register their complaint in this regard—(KNO)

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