Asian Ceramics


India’s overnight move to demonetize has, effectively, hammered some of the country’s more rural-based industries. Not surprisingly, in this regard the heavy clay sector has been one of the hardest hit.

Uttarakhand’s largest brick producing industry of Landoura, eight km from Roorkee, has been hit hard by the Centre’s demonetisation decision. However, brick producers are still hopeful that the situation will soon improve after more currency notes of all denominations are available in the market.

“The footfall of buyers has reduced drastically after the Centre's demonetisation move. Only 50 to 60 trucks are now sold out every day. Our business has now dipped to 75% of normal turnover,” said Pradeep Roshian, president of district association of brick manufacturers.

There are around 200 brick manufacturing units known as ‘bhatta(s)’ in Landoura. Approximately, two lakh bricks are loaded in around 300 trucks which are manufactured every month in these units of Haridwar district. The two entities - bulk buyers and real estate, purchase 25 and 50% of the total production respectively.

Narendra Singhal Guddu, owner of Kali bhatta told TOI that the brick business in the district has flourished since last year due to availability of fuel in the form of coal, which was earlier a big issue for them. “We purchase coal from Gujarat and the fare of coal-laden truck has to be paid in cash. One coal-laden truck costs us around Rs 70,000. Arranging so much cash has now become a problem for us,” said Guddu.

Striking a positive note, Anita Saini of Devbhoomi developer and builders, said, “I believe demonetisation will have a positive impact on economy and it will be fruitful in long term. Yes, this decision taken by the central government is affecting our businesses at present but it will surely bring some great results in future.”

The situation is becoming more and more worrisome for labourers working in these 200 brick manufacturing units. There are around 60 people including over one dozen families working in each brick unit. “We have no cash in hand right now. It is certainly a bad season for us. Our owner sometimes allows us to purchase grocery and other items on goodwill from local market on credit,” said Wasim (who only uses his first name), a labourer working for Sajal bhatta.

It’s going to be a long, tough year for the sub-continent’s brick industries…

Happy New Year!


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