64pc brickfields get eco-friendly tech

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 18 Jun 2017, 11:04:35

64pc brickfields get eco-friendly tech

Nearly 64 per cent of the country's brickfields, widely considered as one of the major sources of air pollution, have so far received environment-friendly technology, according to official sources.

"So far, it's a good achievement. The environment-friendly technology reduced 70 to 80 per cent air pollution by these brickfields. We are trying to bring the remaining traditional brickfields under environment-friendly technology soon," said Air Quality Director of the Department of Environment (DoE) Ziaul Haque.

According to a BSS report, there are 6,646 brickfields across the country. Of these, owners of 4,227 brickfields have so far converted their units into environment friendly ones by modernising with eco-friendly technologies like Zigzag, Hybrid Hoffman or Automatic Tunnel.

The recent survey by DoE says 2,541 brickfields are still left with traditional 80 to 120 feet high chimney, which are responsible for huge air pollution.

The DOE director said they are continuing discussions with brickfield owners' associations at the national and local levels so that all the remaining traditional brickfields can adopt modern technology.

The Brick Making and Brickfield Establishment (Control) Act 2013, which came into effect in July 2014, clearly prohibits conventional technologies in the brick-making industry.

The act suggests adopting energy-efficient and relatively cleaner technologies such as Zigzag, Hybrid Hoffman Kiln (HHK) and Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK).

The law prohibits establishment of brickfields in residential, protected, commercial and agricultural areas, and also in forests, sanctuaries, wetlands and Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs).

The law says establishment of brick kilns in the prohibited areas will be treated as a criminal offence, with varying degrees of punishment for offenders to be determined by the nature of the areas involved.

Setting up a brick field in residential, protected or commercial locations will lead to a maximum punishment of five years in prison or a financial penalty of Taka 5.0 million or both.

The law says none can use soil from agricultural land, hill or hillock to make bricks.

The DEO official sources said so far law enforcement drives were conducted to 350 brickfields and realized Taka ninety million as fines. Apart from realising fines, the mobile court evicted 30 brickfields.

Recently, the DOE sent a proposal to the Environment and Forest Ministry to bring some amendment to the law to make the existing act on brickfield more pragmatic and time-befitting.

The brick-making industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country generating around Taka 8.66 billion revenue a year. It is also one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emission, producing nearly six million tonnes of CO2 gas annually.
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