Environment offenders having a field-day

Posted: জানুয়ারি 30, 2009 in Environment

Time to show zero tolerance

BRICK kilns, a necessary source of building material in our context of underdeveloped prefabs, are obviously not without air pollution risks. Coal-burned furnace, or for that matter, any furnace would emit carbon monoxide overhanging the immediate surrounding of brick factories. That is why they are required under the law to be set up outside city limits, preferably in empty spaces to keep the habitats breathing free of pollution.

Even so, if we should take a fresh count of where they are mostly located, we are sure to be perturbed by their forming concentric circles over certain areas by contrast to their sparse location elsewhere. What we are trying to build up to is the impelling need to recognise the level of risk involved in operating brick kilns as such; and indeed how much more the hazard would be exacerbated by the use of fire wood to burn clay slabs in furnaces. Actually, our front-page photograph last Monday showed a vast pile of fire wood lying around a kiln at Amin Bazar on the city outskirts.

This is a brazenly defined violation of the Brick Burning Control Ordinance, 2001. It prohibits use of fire wood making it a punishable offence. The reason for tabooing it is very strong: for, it means a double environmental degradation. For one thing, it entails felling of trees deforesting an otherwise wooded expanse; and secondly, it belches carbon monoxide into the environment.

This blowing of the whistle, we would like to believe, should not be in vain; instead it must be cashed in on by the Department of Environment and the industrial authority for licensing to apply the law strictly, and in the process, bring the recalcitrant, including those who abetted in the crime, to book.

Clearly, the photograph is an eye-opener to the old environmental offences returning with vengeance; only because we allowed the culture of impunity to strike deeper roots.

the daily star 31.01.2009

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