SIALKOT-The ongoing spell of heavy rains has badly affected and damaged hundreds of thousands of bricks at brick-kilns across Sialkot district, forcing the owner to suspend working of the brick-kilns.

The prevailing situation has resulted in the shortage of bricks in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils here. While kiln owners have also increased rates of the available stocks, making the public to suffer at large.

People, especially local builders are suffering from great ordeal in getting bricks and that too at higher rates.

They also complained that kiln owners have created shortage of bricks at the kilns in the entire Sialkot region.

They claimed the situation is affecting work on various under completion projects and would delay its completion. “Rains are a decision of nature and nobody can stop or avert this decision while the current season is being known for torrential rains across the subcontinent and not a new phenomenon,” they pointed out, adding that kiln owners are only exploiting the situation and causing sufferings for the masses for their monetary gains.

They said that the owners of bricks kilns are demanding Rs10,000 to 12,000 per thousand bricks (available in their stocks) after creating artificial shortage followed suspension of bricks making procession due to rains.

Due to the heavy rains, labourers working at these brick kilns have also gone back to their native areas across Punjab, due to which routine working of these bricks kilns was also lying suspended in the district.

The district administration of Sialkot had already fixed official rate of Rs7,500 per thousand bricks for public sale.

Some male and female labourers at these bricks kilns also complained that though the owners have increased rates of the bricks by creating shortage of the bricks, they have not yet increased their wages.

Builders said the nasty practice by the owners still goes unabated and unchecked by the district administration due to which the owners of the brick-kilns are getting full advantage of the situation.