Malur, a brick manufacturing hub

Malur, a brick manufacturing hub

Workers at the brick factory shape the clay into bricks. dh photo

There were very few tile factories here in the 1970s and these were run by people from the potters’ community. However, with an increase in demand for bricks, people from all communities, including farmers, opened factories.

There are about 320 factories here manufacturing bricks. The workers are not just local people, but also people from Gulbarga, Hassan, Bagalkot as well as from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

The day for the village fair has been shifted to Sundays instead of the conventional Thursday to convenience immigrant workers. Shop owners now keep their shops open on Sundays.

The taluk facilitates the production of bricks since the right kind of soil is available in abundance in the lakes. Nilgiri trees are grown in plenty, which provides the factories with ample quantities of fuel in the form of Malara (Nilgiri leaves) and timber.

The quality of the bricks varies according to the qualityof the kilns. The higher quality bricks cost 25 paise per piece more than the ordinary bricks.

However, wire-cut bricks are manufactured only in some factories. Every worker manufactures 2,000 bricks per day. The production of 1,000 raw bricks costs the factory owners Rs 230 for labour.

The raw bricks are dried in shade for one week before being burned in the kilns. After burning for 24 hours with wood as fuel, they are left in the kilns for an entire day to cool down.   

Every day, 25 to 30 truck-loads of bricks are supplied to the markets both within Karnataka and in other states. The bricks reach Chennai via Malur and Hosur, which are border towns.

A lot of workers are employed under the Employment Guarantee Scheme in their respective states. Therefore, many workers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa hesitate to come over. They demand advance payment from the factory owners.

The increase in the prices of the fuel to burn the bricks is leading to losses complains factory-owner, Srinivas.

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