Taking cognizance of the huge number of illegally set up brick kilns in the plain belt, especially the Chibinang – Rajabala belt, the state forest department has promised to immediately get into action mode to nip the menace in the bud.
Earlier, hundreds of illegal kilns had been set up, some near the AMPT road and others even inside villages as unscrupulous locals looked to cash in on the easily available top soil to make an extra buck. The menace of such illegally operating kilns was such that the district administration had to act on the matter to stop such illegal set ups.
The state government, through its various nodal offices has laid down strict guidelines for the operation of brick kilns with open kilns ‘Bangla bhatta’ being completely ruled out by the Pollution Control Board of Meghalaya. Further besides other guidelines, the kilns are supposed to be at least 50 metres from any nearby state of national highway.
“None of these conditions are met in these illegal operations. They do not have permissions from the administration, the PCB, GHADC or industries but are operating with impunity. These kilns are causing havoc on the local environment and pollution has become unbearable wherever they operate as they are open kilns,” said a source from Phulbari who did not wish to be named.
The source added that there were many kilns running with impunity mostly using strong arm tactics with no care for the health situation of anyone that may be affected.
“These kilns can be seen operating by the road side and it’s a wonder why action has not been taken against them despite everyone knowing the entire setup is illegal in nature,” alleged the source.
The source even provided names of owners of the illegal brick kilns which were then forwarded to the authorities for action.
Upon being informed on the situation, DFO – Western Range, Rupankar Marak has promised to immediately act on the issue and shut down the illegal kilns.