400 brick-kilns running in Jhajjar despite NGT ban

The Tribune | Feb 12, 2020

Close to 400 brick-kilns are operating in the district despite the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in view of rising air pollution.

Ravinder Kadian, a resident of Siwana village here, claimed several brick kilns were being operated around his village against NGT orders. The district administration has formed a committee at the sub-divisional level to ensure execution of the NGT order, but no action is being taken against the violators. Officers of Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and Department of Food and Supply are part of the committee.

Taking a serious view of prevailing situation, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Jitender Dahiya has now directed the SDMs to act against owners of the kilns not adhering to the NGT directives. He has also ordered the District Food and Supply Controller (DFSC) to ensure the closure of the kilns being operated in the district.

“No brick-kiln can be operated till the next orders of the NGT. Hence, the SDMs of Beri, Jhajjar, Badli and Bahadurgarh sub-divisions here have been asked to monitor the kilns and to take action against those found operational,” said the DC. He said that members of the brick kiln association had also been asked to keep the kilns shut in compliance with the NGT’s order.

Kushal Pal Bura, DFSC, said the operation of brick kilns had been banned till January 30. Thereafter, no clear order had come in this respect. “The pollution control board is the nodal agency in this matter and our officials assist it during the inspection. No inspection of brick-kilns has been conducted after January 30,” he added.

The NGT had banned construction activity, including operation of brick-kilns, in the National Capital Region in view of rising air pollution last November. The ban on activities except kilns was lifted in December. Thereafter, kilns owners approached the NGT seeking permission to resume operations. The NGT had heard the case on January 30 but did not lift the ban. It has now sought a study report from the pollution control board before pronouncing the order.

March 5 hearing for Owners’ review plea

Vinod Gulia, a leader of the brick kiln association, said they had filed a review petition in the NGT seeking permission to operate the kilns. March 5 is the date of hearing in this case. “We had called on the DC on Wednesday to obtain permission for operating the kilns till March 5, but he refused to provide any relief,” said Gulia, adding that the NGT had banned the operation of brick kilns in November.