BERHAMPUR: A number of illegal brick kilns have come up in Rangeilunda, Kabisuryanagar and Polosara blocks of Ganjam district. Some of these kilns are located close to the towns raising concerns over pollution emanating from them.
Taking advantage of lack of monitoring by the district administration, traders from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh have set up kilns in these blocks without obtaining the required permission.
The mushrooming kilns has became a constant source of pollution causing problems for residents and commuters.
Smoke and dust emanating from the kilns often form clouds making it difficult for the commuters to pass through the road. As workers remove topsoil for making bricks, it reduces soil fertility affecting crop production.
Sources said brick kiln owners lure poor farmers and acquire their lands for operating their units without obtaining licence from the district administration. Flouting norms set by the State Pollution Control Board and NGT’s order, several brick kilns have set up their units in Rangeilunda, Kabisuryanagar and Polosara blocks.
This apart, a large number of children are engaged in the brick kilns. The owners of the kilns allegedly share a nexus with the district officials and local leaders and engage school drop-outs in their units.
They even threaten labourers who raise their voice against the illegal practice, alleged locals and demanded that steps should be taken urgently to stop this trend.
Moreover, labourers brought from Sambalpur, Boudh, Sonepur and Kandhamal districts are exploited by the brick kiln owners. But the officials of tehsils feigned ignorance about the matter.
Acting on several complaints, Kodola tehsildar Pravat Kumar Parida recently visited a brick kiln at Luhakote in the block. But action is yet to be taken over the issue.