–Lack of technical labour, financial resources add to woes of brick kiln owners
–EDP DG vows to convert all kilns to zig-zag technology by 2021
LAHORE: Financial restraints and lack of technical labour have infuriated owners of brick kilns across the city who decried the Environment Protection Department’s (EPD) decision to replace pollution-causing chambers with zig-zag technology.
According to details, Provincial Minister for Environment Muhammad Rizwan in a meeting instructed the environment department for the instant implementation of zig-zag technology in all brick kilns of Punjab.
Brick kiln owners have shown resentment over the ‘discriminatory’ policies of EPD and regarded this technology as ‘financial suicide’ for them. They also lamented the shortage of skilled labour and technical training programmes.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Muhammad Ashiq Kiln, a kiln owner in Shadipura, argued, “It would be better for us to shut down our kilns rather than installing zig-zag technology.”
While discussing technical difficulties in the sudden installation, Ashiq said, “Installation of zig-zag technology doesn’t make any sense without the availability of technical labour and electricity as zig-zag kilns require reliable electricity supply to operate.”
“Kilns are not the only source of pollution. Factories too contribute to this environmental hazard,” he replied when told about the effectiveness of the technology for the environment.
Ashiq requested the authorities to re-examine their policies because lack of technical labour and permanent ban on their kilns will be a huge financial loss for them.
Replying to the concerns of kiln owners, EDP Director General Naseemur Rehman expressed hope to overcome the issue of shortage of technical labour. He said the EPD “has requested TEVTA [Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority] and other departments for the initiation of technical programmes for the training of skilled labour.”
He called the conversion of 213 out of total 10,300 kilns into zig-zag technology a “big achievement”.
Highlighting the long-term financial benefits of zig-zag technology, he said, “This technology not only reduces time but also saves fuel cost and improves the quality of bricks.”
He further said, “I’m working on climate issues for the past 15 years and I hope we will convert all brick kilns of Punjab by the end of 2021.”
It is pertinent to mention here that environmental experts have urged kiln owners to adopt new zig-zag technology as the traditionally used thermally insulated chamber are found to be less environment-friendly. They have stressed that the use of technology can prove to be cost-effective and help save 40% coal.