With brick-kiln owners announcing to go on five-day strike from Thursday, construction contractors and traders are set to face huge financial losses owing to non-availability of bricks in the market from September 13 to 17.
The ongoing construction works would be affected as brick-kiln owners have decided to shut down their establishments during the strike days. They have even decided to shut down production of bricks and no new slot of bricks will be sold.
The strike will surely affect the pace of development works across the district due to the shortage of bricks.
"Bricks are already short in supply, as at many places production has been stopped from the past two months due to some reasons. Now the strike would surely slow down the construction process," said a government contractor.
The brick-kiln owners have decided to go on strike after the decision of the state government to effect a two-fold hike in lumpsum taxes on all categories of brick-kilns.
There are 175 brick-kilns across Sangrur district.
Prem Gupta, president, Sangrur district kiln owners association, said as per the decision of the government implemented from September 5, the category-A kilns will now have to pay Rs 6 lakh against the earlier Rs 3 lakh; the revised tax on category-B units will be Rs 4.8 lakh and category-C kilns will have to pay Rs 4.2 lakh.
He said notwithstanding several presentations, the state government has failed to meet their demand following which they had decided to completely shut down kilns for five days.
"We will intensify our stir and will go on strike for indefinite period if higher authorities failed to fulfil our demands at the earliest," he said.
Gupta added that, "We are already facing huge financial loss owing to ban on mining by the Punjab and Haryana high court and now such anti-people decision of the government will add to our worries."
Meanwhile, the brick-kiln owners strike would also put daily wage labourers to inconvenience as they would find it very difficult to make ends meet after several contractors and traders already applying brakes on construction work at several places.