Tamil Nadu

Rising price of coal has negative impact on brick kilns

One tonne of coal costs around ₹6,700 with additional carriage and labour charges.

One tonne of coal costs around ₹6,700 with additional carriage and labour charges.   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

Increased production cost, lack of quality are the main issues

Inadequate supply of coal for brick kilns has affected production cost and quality of bricks, according to kiln owners in the district.

The combined Vellore district has over 25,000 brick kilns functioning and many of them are on the verge of closure due to cost escalation of raw materials and labour issues.

A. Purushothaman, of Lalapet, said finding labour for brick kiln has become very difficult as many prefer for lighter jobs and educated youth are not willing to take up this hard job. Adding fuel to the fire, the recent price rise in retail coal in the local market has led to a severe crunch in supply of the fuel. This has affected the manufacture of good quality bricks.

There are over 30 coal dealers in Walajapet, Kaveripakkam and Ocheri who supply coal to brick kilns. These units provide employment to local women. Despite maintaining lower sales margins, they also face problems in the form of variations in demand, said an owner of a coal unit in Walajapet.

A brick kiln owner from Lalapet in Ranipet district said 1 tonne of coal costed around ₹6,700 with additional carriage and labour charges.

“Despite this cost escalation we do it for the sake of our family as we do not have other options. We provide cube bricks at ₹6 per piece and clay rectangular red brick at ₹6.50 per piece,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 3:59:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rising-price-of-coal-has-negative-impact-on-brick-kilns/article30936453.ece

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