Posted by: Duncan Chowdhury | March 7, 2009

A Brick The Unit of Development

Often the media carries out news about the rapid destruction of forests in Bangladesh. One of the main reason for the depletion of the forests, is the mass usage of timber for brick kilns. In fact, the usage of timber as fuel has been banned by the Government and alternative fuel has been suggested. Surprisingly, this has never been followed by the kiln owners, they still use timber as fuel in large scale to produce bricks.

Once, I was watching a TV reporting, where the reporter was reporting about the usage of timber in the brick kilns. He was asking one Government Official, why they were allowing this malpractice to go on, inspite of the Government ban. The Official hopelessly said that he also understood the gravity of the situation, and it  was not appropriate at all, to allow such practice, however, still they were ignoring this, since, it was utmost necessary for the brick kilns to continue their productions.

According to him, a brick is a unit of development. Massive development works are going throughout the country; roads, bridges, buildings are being built, if the production of bricks is hampered, then the wheel of development shall stop spinning. A brick is a unit of development, so production of bricks cannot be stopped for the sake of continuing the process of development.

This is the perception of development, to our Government Officers. For them Development means building only infrastructures but not development of human resources, our Government too, do have the same perception towards Development. That’s why we see each year massive buildings are built, but then these are left unutilized. If we go to the rural areas, we see massive buildings, like health care centers, hospitals, all built to serve the people. Unfortunately, in these hospitals we see, there are no doctors, no medicines are available for the poor patients, no diagnostic and investigative medical services are available for the people.  In such a situation what is the use of spending so much funds for such huge infrastructures, while we are unable to pay for the running costs of this institutions. First we should ensure development of human resources, which is less costly than the infrastructures. The reason behind anomaly is that, the contractors with political connections, influence the government policy to build such infrastructures, which benefits the contractors only and often the construction quality is also substandard as a result the maintenance costs also increases.  Similarly, we see bridges constructed and no approach roads built in years. Thus the development efforts fill the pockets of the contractors only and the people stay where they were.      

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