LAHORE: While the dearth of technology at the brick kilns has resulted in an increased amount of smoke and subsequently the spread of viral diseases, worn-out tires being used as fuel to run coal engines has raised the menace of air pollution to a new high. The Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) on the other hand seems to be taking no substantial actions, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to sources, more than 10,000 brick kilns being operative in 37 districts of Punjab including the provincial capital, were adding to environmental pollution on a daily basis. But the EPD authorities being negligent towards the issue were not fully addressing the complaints against environmental pollution.
“The department submits the complaints to the environment tribunal and does nothing other than carrying out a departmental action,” sources said. They also told that the Brick Kilns Owners Association (BKOA) on the other hand was working to curb the menace of air pollution, and in collaboration with the federal government also visited Nepal.
It is pertinent to mention that in Kathmandu, an Australian-developed technology is being used at the brick kilns, with the help of which not only the brick kilns are working more efficiently with lesser fuel, but also emit lesser pollutants into the environment.
As this technology can easily be introduced in Pakistan, and positive effects have been observed after Haji Ikram – a member of the BKOA – set up such a kiln, the association has requested EPD to help it in this regard by providing technical assistance, as they too want to contribute in reducing environmental pollution.
EPD District Officer Misbahul Hassan Lodhi told this scribe that the department was seeking the services of an international consultant, who after examining the brick kilns located in not only Pakistan but also other countries, would advise the BKOA as well as the concerned authorities on how to improve the persisting situation.
The official also said that after further consultation with the association, the consultant’s advises would be implemented upon in Punjab and his services would also be sought in connection with the brick kiln technology being used in Kathmandu.