Steps against brick kilns won’t curb pollution: CSE

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board’s initiative to curb air pollution from brick kilns is “half-baked” and not likely to succeed, the CSE said on Monday.

The Board has directed the brick kiln industry to change technology from natural draft to induced draft within 90 days.

It has issued a notice to brick entrepreneurs of Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Hapur. The step was ostensibly taken to reduce air pollution from brick kiln sources and to improve the air quality in Delhi and NCR.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the technology was inadequate and would not lead to reduction in pollution.

“Worse, because of erratic power supply, kiln owners will have to run a diesel generator if they shift to induced draft kilns — which will add to the pollution,” it said in a statement.

A clear technological roadmap for the sector needs to be developed, including changing over to fly ash brick manufacturing, CSE said.

It is estimated that the brick kiln sector is the fourth largest contributor to PM10 emissions in the NCR region after transport, road dust and thermal power plants.

While brick manufacturing has been banned in Delhi, it has thrived in areas surrounding the capital. The massive thrust on construction in the NCR has given it the boost.

There are around 700 brick kilns in the three districts of Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Hapur. Most of these kilns are natural draft Bulls Trench Kilns.

“The UPPCB has rightly identified brick kiln as an important source of air pollution,” says Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE.

“However the technological solution suggested – changing over from natural draft to induced draft — is inadequate and will not lead to reduction in pollution.

“It is very likely that the majority of the kiln would adopt a short cut by fitting a dummy fan which will never run.

“The notification should have also addressed issues such as arrangement of bricks, fuel feeding mechanisms and air flow which are very important factors to ensure pollution reduction,” said Bhushan.

–IANS

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