DoE for amending Brick Kiln Act to protect environment

Dhaka,  Mon,  21 August 2017
Published : 28 Jul 2017, 00:39:32

DoE for amending Brick Kiln Act to protect environment

FE Report

The Department of Environment (DoE) has strongly pleaded for amending the Brick Manufacturing and Brick Kiln Establishment (Control) Act.

Such an amendment will make brick production more sustainable considering greater interest of environment, the DoE Director General said at a workshop in Dhaka on Thursday said.

The Brick Kiln Act was passed in 2013 to establish control over brick manufacturing and brick kiln establishment for the interest of conservation and development of environment and biodiversity.

This law came into force from July 1, 2014 and permits two years' time limit to introduce modern technology in brick kilns.

After three years of enactment of this Act, question has arisen as to feasibility and enforceability of the provisions of the law, said speakers.

"This Act should be amended in the light of field-level study considering the issues with participation of the concerned people", DoE director general Md Raisul Alam Mondal said.

His observation came at a stakeholder consultative workshop on national strategy for sustainable brick production in Bangladesh, held at the DoE in the city. It was organised jointly by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the DoE.

The DoE is now working for a strategy sustainable for brick production considering environmental issues.

The DoE DG said for effective implementation of this Act, concerned institutional frameworks should be strengthened and necessary by-laws should be framed.

He said the amendment should be done emphasising agricultural land, barring use of top soil, labourers' health issue, reduction of carbon emission, stopping import of sulfur-poisoned coal etc.

Md Shahjahan, consultant with the Asian Development Bank and a former DoE official, presented the keynote paper titled 'National Strategy for Sustainable Brick Production in Bangladesh'.

The paper revealed that the country's 7,000 brick fields have been producing 22.8 billion pieces of bricks annually.

It said 4,227 traditional brick kilns (FCK) have been turned into zigzag kilns in 2017. The number was 150 in 2009. Zigzag kilns are 15 to 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than that of FCK or traditional brick kiln.

However, Tunnel and HHK, two more modern technologies, have been adopted in 99 brick kilns in the country so far, the paper said.

It revealed that most of brick kilns still use top soils of agricultural lands.   

The paper in its policy recommendation said an updated brick policy, amendment of Brick Kiln Act and a brick information service should be considered.

Easy access to finance for sector people, protection of health and safety of workers, enabling environment for sustainable brick kilns and subsidiary rules under the Brick Kiln Act will also formulated.

Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association (BBMOA) general secretary Alhaj Md Abu Bakar said the FCK brick kiln owners will have to give time to turn their units into modern ones gradually.

Vice president of BBMOA Md Asadur Rahman Khan said automated brick kilns are not yet capable enough to meet the gigantic demand for bricks in a growing economy like Bangladesh  

Secretary General of Bangladesh Auto Brick Manufacturers Association Dr B N Dulal called for reducing bank interest rate and VAT rate for auto kilns to help minimise prices of the key infrastructure input.

Additional DG of DoE Quazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hashmi chaired the programme while ACIMOD regional programme manager Mats Eriksson, DoE Director (AQM) Md Ziaul Haque, among others also spoke.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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