Brick kiln owners have alleged that political leaders and influential persons from the ruling SAD-BJP alliance were working as brick mafia and not allowing other kilns to work in Punjab.
District Brick Kiln Owner’s Association in a press conference here on Saturday stated that some persons with political backing were not allowing starting of brick kilns in Ludhiana that has caused financial losses to the kiln owners.
Association president Darshan Singh said, “Usually the brick kilns started to operate by September 15 every year after closing down for at least three-four months. However, due to the sky rocketing prices of sand and other material related to the construction business, we have decided to start the kilns by November 1 this year.”
But, we were not being allowed to operate the kilns even now due to the pressure from different persons with political backing, he added.
Even Construction Workers Federation of India has joined hands with the brick kiln owners and stated that even the workers related to the construction business were suffering due to shortage of bricks and sky rocketing prices of sand.
Federation national vice-president Tarsem Jodhan, who is a former MLA, said after the drug, sand and transport mafias flourished in Punjab, now brick mafia was raising its head due to political patronage.
He said while all brick kilns were shut due to heavy recession and high sand prices, the mafia was selling undersized and poor quality bricks at high rates and it was a cause of concern.
Both the associations have also decided to hold a protest against the state government on November 25 for not taking any action against brick mafia.