Pollution watchdog cracks whip on brick kilns in Bihar, sets Jan deadline to switch to clean tech

Published on Nov 02, 2022 10:03 PM IST

Officials in the BSPCB said the survey findings based on ground verification have revealed that around 60% of the brick kilns have converted to clean technology while the rest 40% continue to manufacture bricks through old process, which is a major source of air pollution.

As per studies on air pollution, the brick kilns in Bihar cause 15-18% of air pollution while transportation, domestic usage of fuels, industry and dust are other major pollutants in the state (HT Photo)
As per studies on air pollution, the brick kilns in Bihar cause 15-18% of air pollution while transportation, domestic usage of fuels, industry and dust are other major pollutants in the state (HT Photo)
By, Patna

In a crackdown against polluting brick kilns,the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) has issued an ultimatum to over 2,000 brick manufacturing units in the state to convert to clean technology by January end next year to check air pollution failing which administration would take penal action, including snapping of power and water connections, officials familiar with the matter said.

The BSPCB has conducted a statewide survey of over 6,000 brick kilns in the last few years through artificial intelligence and remote sensing as part of the programme to check air pollution in collaboration with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). The ground verification of the survey records is in final stages.

Officials in the BSPCB said the survey findings based on ground verification have revealed that around 60% of the brick kilns have converted to clean technology while the rest 40% continue to manufacture bricks through old process, which is a major source of air pollution.

In June 2017, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had asked brick kilns across India to shift to a cleaner and more efficient “induced draft zigzag” design.

Accordingly, BSPCB had set the mandate for brick kilns in Bihar to convert to clean technology under which the zigzag design is the most popular and effective method to check air pollution. Majority of the brick kilns have adopted zigzag setting.

In zigzag kilns, bricks are arranged to allow hot air to travel in a zigzag path. The length of the zigzag air path is about three times that of a straight line, and this improves the heat transfer to the bricks, making the entire operation more efficient. In addition, better mixing of air and fuel allows complete combustion, reducing coal consumption to about 20 per cent.

The zigzag design also ensures uniform distribution of heat and reduces emissions considerably.

“We have served notices to over 2,000 brick kilns to convert to clean technology that causes less air pollution by January 31st next year in recent days. If they do not comply, they would be face action . The administration will be asked to snap their power and other facilities so that they do not operate,” said Ashok Kumar Ghosh, chairman of BSPCB.

The BSPCB chairman said the major volume of polluting brick kilns having not adopted new technology were in districts like East and West Champaran , Araria, Kishanganj and some districts in south Bihar where as brick kilns located near Patna , Bhojpur and Rohtas have mostly converted to clean technology i.e. zigzag setting design.

The new design has many advantages and produces less emissions, officials said.

As per studies on air pollution, the brick kilns in Bihar cause 15-18% of air pollution while transportation, domestic usage of fuels, industry and dust are other major pollutants in the state.

In last few decades, the manufacturing and production of bricks have increased manifold owing to thrust in the real estate sector and construction activities, officials said.

“ We have set the target of zero carbon emission by 2040 in the state in collaboration with UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme),” said Ghosh.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist for 21 years, Anirban covers RJD, legislature and government beats. Has extensive experience in covering elections and writes regularly on finance, land reforms, registration, excise and socio-economic issues.

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