BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 2: The Pollution Control Board, Assam has recently given an order to close down all the brick kilns illegally set up on agri–land in the State. The State Pollution Control Board has also found that these illegal brick kilns are creating large–scale environment pollution.
This was disclosed here on Saturday by the State Pollution Control Board member secretary HK Gogoi after the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) activists gheraoed the office of the State Pollution Control Board here in protest against the setting up of brick kilns in the State’s agri–land.
According to HK Gogoi, Assam has 912 brick kilns and of these, 193 brick kilns were illegally set up on agri–land and 100 brick factories use moving chimneys, creating large–scale pollution.
KMSS demanded that the State Pollution Control Board should seize the licences issued to the parties who are currently setting up brick kilns in agri–land. The farmers’ body also demanded that the State Pollution Control Board should formulate a new set of policies in regard to setting up of brick factories in Assam.
KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said that Assam had around 5,000 brick kilns and of these, only 600 brick factories were following pollution control norms and the rest of the brick kilns were violating the pollution control norms. “In this regard, the State Forest Minister has a great role to play but no steps have been taken by the Forest Minister so far,” Akhil Gogoi said.
Several people from Sonitpur, Dhekiajuli and Nalbari, who are the victims of brick factory–created pollution, joined the KMSS activists in the gherao programme. The KMSS members also submitted a memorandum in this regard to the member secretary of the State Pollution Control Board.
The KMSS members urged the State Pollution Control Board to relocate two industrial units – India Carbon and Assam Carbon – from Guwahati city for creating large–scale pollution in the city area.
Regarding the construction of dams, KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi should oppose the construction of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project at Gerukamukh on the Assam–Arunachal Pradesh border as he is now opposing the construction of more dams by China on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra. “Why is the Chief Minister not opposing the construction of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project? It is really a mystery,” Akhil Gogoi said.