SRINAGAR: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the steps to be taken to regulate the brick kilns operating in the Kashmir division without obtaining environment clearance and other permissions from the concerned authorities. The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, Commissioner Secretary Forests M K Dwivedi, Commissioner Secretary FCS&CA Dr Abdul Rashid, Deputy Commissioner Budgam Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar, SSP Budgam Tejinder Singh, Chairman JKSPCB Ravi Kesar, Member Secretary JKSPCB Brij Sharma, Director Geology & Mining Farooq Ahmad Khan and other concerned officers.
During the meeting, detailed discussions were held on the illegal operations of the brick kilns especially in the district Budgam and the measures need to be adopted for the strict compliance of environment laws by the brick kilns operators. The Advisor directed all the agencies involved in the process of issuing licenses and other necessary permissions for the operations of brick kilns that strict compliance to the environment law should be ensured besides every possible step should be taken to control the pollution from these kilns.
The Advisor also asked for conducting meeting of District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) and District Expert Appraisal Committee (DEAC) on regular basis so that the eligible cases are approved and necessary action can be taken against the defaulters. With regard to the preparation of mining plans by the brick kiln owners which is prerequisite for renewal of licenses, it was directed informed that adequate time will be given for the purpose to the owners, failing of which, action as per the environment and other laws would be taken against them.
Shift to a cleaner and more efficient technology being used in other parts of the country was also discussed for controlling the level of air pollution. It was decided that the brick kilns owners must be encouraged to go for the “induced draft zigzag” design which leads to more efficient fuel combustion and lower emissions. It was informed that in Jammu division, the technology is being used by some brick kiln owners and same is to be replicated here in Kashmir. Pollution is one of the biggest hazards affecting the environment, human lives and is a serious concern for everyone. There is a need to take all possible, collective measures to prevent our environment getting polluted on a large scale, the Advisor said.