3,200 brick kilns of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana face closure
Of the 4,000-odd brick kilns operating in national capital regions of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, less than one fourth have shifted on to the cleaner zig-zag technology to curb pollution levels.
“Only around 722 brick kilns have adopted the zig-zag technology to bring down their emission levels. Under the Graded Response Action Plan, notified by the Union environment ministry, only brick kilns that have adopted the zig-zag technology can operate after June 30,” said a member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
Zig-zag technology slows down emission of smokes through the chimneys at brick kilns, allowing particulates to settle and leading to a reduction in pollution. Brick kilns fumes are potential sources of PM2.5. “Those that have not adopted the cleaner technology would have to close down after June 30. EPCA would take a call on when the brick kilns can resume operations,” said Sunita Narain, member of EPCA.
A section of brick kiln owners urged EPCA to not resort to sudden closures as it would lead to heavy losses. “The investment required for switchig over to zig-zag is at least Rs 10 lakh. And we are doing it on our own. So the government should not force us to shut shop during the February to June window,” said one of the brick kiln owners.
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