There are around 6,477 registered brick kilns operating on the banks of the river
The mines and geology department of Bihar will phase out brick kilns operating on the banks of the Ganga river in the state. Senior officials are preparing a draft to make crucial changes in the no objection certificate (NOC) norms to put an end to kilns along the national river.
Principal secretary in charge of the department, B Pradhan, said these kilns pose a danger to the Ganga. He said the existing norms for granting permission to kilns are too complicated and need to be changed.
The NOC for operating kilns is issued by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) but the responsibility for monitoring them lies with the mines and geology department. There is no dedicated body for monitoring kilns.
There are around 6,477 registered brick kilns operating on the banks of the river. Elaborating on the plan of action, Pradhan said that just like the ban on stone crushers, a complete ban on kiln operation is being worked out. “We are forming a committee to make changes in the policy for brick kiln operation,” he said.
The state had earlier completelybanned stone crushers within a year by stopping issue of NOCs. The same strategy is being implemented with regard to brick kilns.
Senior officials of the department accepted that severe staff shortage has severely hampered monitoring of brick kilns. There is always confusion over who will take action against the kiln owners who violate environmental laws. Pradhan accepted that there are many illegal brick kiln operating the state.
“Under the new policy, BSPCB would be asked to stop issuing NOCs for new kilns,” said the additional secretary-cum-director of mines and geology department.
Mines department will continue to do the inspection of kilns but now it will do it along with the officials of BSPCB.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.