NHRC Asks Spl Rapporteur to Probe Illegal Brick Kilns in Puri
By Express News Service | Published: 08th September 2014 06:00 AM |
BHUBANESWAR: Even as mushrooming brick kilns in the State has generated huge environmental concern, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed its Special Rapporteur to examine the gravity of the situation in Puri district.
The Special Rapporteur, Damodar Sarangi, has been asked to visit the district and make an on the spot assessment of brick kilns operating illegally and submit his report within six weeks.
The directions came in response to a complaint filed by human rights activist Akhand alleging establishment of unauthorised brick kilns in the district and the administration turning a blind eye to the menace. More than 500 brick kilns are operating in Odisha with a large number concentrated at Manglaghat, Koilada, Mangarajpur, Harekrushnapur, Samagara, Gopalpur, Batagaon, Chandanpur, Sakhigopal, Pipili and Nimapara in Puri district.
While the businessmen have encroached over 100 acres of land to set up the kilns, the brick-making process is fuelling environmental pollution leading to a rise in temperature in the pilgrim city of Puri, he alleged.
The Commission had earlier directed the Forest and Environment Department and Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) to submit action taken report on the matter. Director, Environment and Special Secretary to Forest and Environment Department informed about the steps taken against illegal kilns that have violated site norms as well as adoption of mandatory technology and process stipulations.
Though OSPCB stated that rise in temperature is a global phenomenon and cannot be attributed to brick kilns, such units operating in clusters would have impact of temperature rise in their immediate vicinity and air pollution problem during dry season.
The Board in its report recommended that brick kilns conforming to site criteria and emission norms should only be permitted for commercial purpose and necessary steps need to be taken by local administration or departments concerned to promote fixed chimney type kilns or vertical shaft brick kiln by replacing existing moving or clamp kilns in the district.