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Brick kilns in Dhemaji raise pollution concerns

From a Correspondent

DHEMAJI, Feb 25: The smoke emitted from brick kilns is affecting more than 6,000  people of Machkhowa. Villagers expressed their resentment at this and moved the district administration.

The people of different villages of Machkhowa alleged that the smoke coming  out from the brick kilns was affecting them badly. There are more than 13 brick kilns in the areas within a five kilometres radius and  these industries are at Chabaria, Jorkata, Bongali gaon and Noikosh Bazar Chuk areas. The smoke coming out from these bricks industries affects the  people of the catchment areas. The people residing in the banks of Laipulia River are badly affected. The water of the river is feared to be polluted due  to the smoke. The smoke has people of Machkhowa Rangachila, Bilatia, Jorkata, Chumawa, Chabaria, Seujia Pathar and Kuhimari villages also.

There are 10 primary schools, four higher secondary schools and two  colleges. The smoke threatens the students. More than 6,000  people are said to be affected in this area. The heavy smoke particles  containing carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other harmful gases which lead to air pollution and further lead to environmental hazards such as acid  rain, global warming and ozone depletion.

Agricultural land is reducing in the areas near brick kilns. The smoke particles are being dumped into the Laipulia River and it leads to water pollution and river species are in danger. The Muga growers alleged that though the area is famous for Muga cultivation and their livelihood mainly depends on it, they fear that if the brick kilns are not regulated, the Muga worms will also be affected very soon. People also questioned the district administration whether the owners of the industries carry out digging activities of brick earth or ordiry earth as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. They also questioned whether the owners could procure environment clearance certificate from the competent authority. The tiol Green  Tribul has banned digging of earth across the country but brick kilns increasing in number in Machkhowa, and that too in the flood-affected zone.