Lalmonirhat brick kiln owners are allegedly cheating customers as well as contractors by supplying bricks that are smaller than standard size, thanks to authorities' ignorance of the matter.
There are as many as 34 brick fields in the district.
The owners are manufacturing the below standard size bricks for the last few years, defying the government manual, the sufferers said, adding that they are getting small size bricks while the owners are taking the price of standard size.
Rangpur Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution Field Officer Delwar Hossain said the standard size of a brick is 10x5x3 inches, but the bricks manufactured in the brick kilns measure 9x4.5x2.8 inches, even less.
They asked the brick kiln owners several times to follow the government manual in making standard size bricks, but they continued to defy the instruction, he said.
They did not conduct any drive in this regard due to lack of local administration's interest, said the officer.
Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Shafiul Arif said he was not aware of the matter, but they are ready to provide a magistrate to BSTI for conducting the drive.
Trader Manowarul Haque of BDR Road in Lalmonirhat town said “We are being cheated by the brick kiln owners as we pay for standard size bricks but get smaller ones.”
Mason Abdul Mazid of Khordasaptana area in the town said the work which could be done with 1,000 bricks five years ago now needs around 1,200 bricks.
Rashedul Islam, a contractor of LGED in Lalmonirhat, said their expenditure has increased due to the smaller bricks. They have been facing the problem for the last five years.
Brick field worker Ershadul Haque of Aditmari upazila said they make bricks following the instruction of the kiln owner.
President of District Brick Kilns' Owner Association Abdul Hakim, also the owner of AIR brick kiln, said they manufacture the bricks as per the government manual, but some owners may be manufacturing smaller ones.