Thursday July 25, 2024

Rs51.550m fine imposed on 15,110 kilns

By Ali Raza
June 22, 2024
This picture shows smoke billowing from a chimney as Pakistani labourers rest beside a brick kiln. — AFP/File
This picture shows smoke billowing from a chimney as Pakistani labourers rest beside a brick kiln. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Punjab has imposed Rs51.550 million fine to 15,110 brick kilns across the province for not complying with zig-zag methodology.

Sources in EPA told The News that from April 2024 till date the EPA officials inspected 15,110 brick kilns across Punjab and got registered 560 (Istighasas) FIRs and 515 brick kilns were sealed for not implementing the zig-zag methodologies.

Total 94 brick kilns were flooded with water bowser for repeating violations and their brick stacks were demolished with the help of heavy machinery by EPA staff in coordination with district administrations.

“The real difference between the traditional Fixed Chimney Bulls Trench Kiln (FCBTK) and the zig-zag technology driven brick kiln is that in the former the placement of bricks is done in a straight pattern, whereas in the latter the bricks are placed in a zig-zag pattern. The zig-zag pattern allows to efficiently maneuvering the air for heating purposes,” an EPA official said.

“Furthermore, the black smoke that comes out of the traditional brick kiln is due to inefficient burning of fuel, whereas, the zig-zag setting of bricks and continuous feeding of small quantities of coal improves fuel efficiency. As a result, the emitted smoke from the kilns employing zig-zag technology is white colored and with significantly low air pollution levels,” the official said adding the induced-draught zig-zag kiln type also has a fan, which allows to control the air, thereby making the coal burning process even more efficient.

Sources in EPD, claimed that after the conversion of all brick kilns into zig-zag technology the brick kilns owners were involved in violation of zig-zag methodology compliance as they were not placing/stacking the bricks in zig zag pattern besides their blowers were also not operational during the time of inspection. After checking these violations in zig-zag brick kilns heavy fine has been imposed by the EPA Officials.

Talking to The News, Director General EPA Punjab Imran Hamid Sheikh said that department was utilising all of its resources to control the violation in the brick kilns operations. He said that this time zero tolerance policy has been adopted and no brick kiln with old technology will be allowed to operate and the EPA staff now using water bowers for this purpose.

Imran Hamid further added that this year we will not wait for the upcoming smog season and anti-smog actions will remain continue round the year every month, every week and every day.

EPA DG said that repeated violators have been handed over to police after registration of FIRs against them and their operation will remain suspended until or unless they won’t shift to zig-zag methodology.