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CPCB and HSPCB conduct inspections on brick kilns in Haryana

Nearly 92% of 207 brick kilns in Hisar are complying with the provisions of the consent to operate (CTO) licences granted to them, inspections by joint teams of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) officials have found. This is part of a state-wide inspection of brick kilns by the two boards to ensure adoption of zig-zag technology and use of approved fuel types to reduce emissions.

“We will determine the extent of non-compliance by brick kilns across the state and take appropriate action to impose and recover environmental compensation (EC) within three months in case of violations,” an HSPCB official said.

The inspections of the Hisar brick kilns, carried out between March 2023 and Feb this year, focused on various aspects such as location, implementation of zig-zag technology, monitoring provisions, and the type of fuel being used. While 190 units were found to be compliant, six units were violating the norms, while eight had voluntarily shut down operations and three were dismantled.

A total of 1,543 (71.3%) out of 2,163 brick kilns in NCR districts of Haryana have already adopted zig-zag technology. The remaining 620 units, which used older methodologies, were shut down last year but have been given the option to restart operations if they switch to the approved technology.

Brick kilns are allowed to operate for four months a year, starting March, according to the norms. Given their scattered nature and small-scale operations, monitoring these units poses a significant challenge. “Efforts are underway to organise this industry by setting emission standards and mandating the adoption of cleaner technology,” the official said.

In Feb 2022, the Union environment ministry had issued a gazette notification that said existing brick kilns had one year to ensure they met the emission standards and new ones would only get permission to operate if they used zig-zag technology, vertical shafts or PNG. The same year, NGT directed closure of all brick kilns in NCR, including those with zig-zag technology, in winter after a CPCB report said the region can’t sustain all such units if it wanted to clean its air. According to CPCB, the brick kiln industry’s contribution to particulate matter (PM10) pollutants in Delhi-NCR during the winter months is around 5%, and in summer, 7%.

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