Ludhiana, October 11, 2018 : Punjab Brick Kiln Owners Association, an apex body of over 2800 brick kiln owners in state oppose the decision taken by Appellate Authority of setting aside the notification dated 09.04.2018 and strict implementation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the state of Punjab covering all the units of different industries causing pollution. A resolution was also passed suggesting to treat brick industry as non mining industry, hence should not a subject for environment clearance. Association warns, if not meet, they will intensify the statewide movement and there will be no production till February 1, 2019. A meeting of association was today held under their president Kuldeep Singh Makkar which was well attended by presidents and secretaries of respective districts.
Association which was responsive towards the rules and regulations of board have dismantle their kilns, planned their firing period accordingly and contributing in the mission of TANDRUST PUNJAB launched recently by Chief Minister Captain Amainder Singh on World Environment Day. Association claims that they have sufficient stocks available in the market but sluggish demand in real estate industry is the big hindrance in their business.
According to Kuldeep Singh Makkar, President, PBKOA, “Brick kiln industry is different from other type of industries, as we have to plan our activities minimum one to two months before starting the firing period, so as when we have to stop the firing. Whenever AQI (Ambient Air Quality) increases more than 300 mg, generally in winters, Govt have to take decision to stop all the units causing pollution which should be abided by all industries.”
In response to PPCB’s issued notice to convert all the kilns to high draft kilns by January 31, 2019, Association has already dismantle their 50 percent of kilns to adopt the newer Zig-Zag technology.
“To run the bricks kilns in winter we have to consume more Coal i.e. 14 -15 metric tons per one lakh bricks as compare to summers i.e. 10 -11 metric tons per lakh bricks causing more pollution and adding to increasing costs. Association respect the closure of kilns for four months break which is beneficial both for society and brick kilns owners.” said Surinder Singla, General Secretary.
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is more technical to understand because it is based on the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ). Air quality always worsens during the winter season due to stubble burning and many other reasons. Association demands for date specific condition to stop the BKOs for doing their production.
“We are following the guidelines of PPCB based on the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT) till now. Kiln Owners also planned their activities accordingly but now we feeling cheated as decision of authority is astonishing that we are not able to run our business at this point of time. “ said Makkar