Lens on illegal brick kilns

Cuttack: A public interest litigation in Orissa High Court has sought its intervention against the mushrooming of illegal brick kilns in areas under Barang and Sadar blocks of Cuttack district.

The PIL has expressed concern over unchecked operation of brick kilns close to human habitations and alleged that these posed threats to human life and caused environment pollution. Achutyananda Swain, a lawyer, filed the PIL on January 5.In his petition, Swain alleged that the illegal units had come up at Kamarpada, Sasolo, Bamphakud, Banpur and Bayalish mouzas.

The units operate by digging up earth from December to May to manufacture bricks. Each unit, spreads over two to five acres, produces around 10 to 15 lakh bricks during this period. In the process, they render the land unsuitable for agriculture by degrading its fertility.

The regular movement of vehicles to transport the bricks from these kilns also damages the rural roads, apart from causing air pollution. Swain said he resorted to the PIL after complaints to Barang and Sadar tehsildars, state pollution control board secretary, sub-collector and collector had not yielded results. The petition has sought the court's direction to close the kilns which, according to experts, cause rises in temperature around it as well as land degradation and air pollution.

The PIL assumes significance after the district administration had, last May, directed all tehsildars to form special squads and take action against illegal brick kilns with the help of the state pollution control board's regional officials.


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