Malkangiri: Despite restrictions imposed by the apex court, scores of illegal brick kilns are operating in the district, a report said.
Significantly, mushrooming of kilns has posed a threat to Satiguda dam as several brick making units have been set up in the vicinity under the very nose of revenue officials.
In spite of the threat to the dam, revenue officials including the tehsildar, revenue inspectors and other senior district officials have kept mum over the issue, alleged locals.
Most of the kilns are located near MV-02, MV-03, MV-19, MV-07, Pradhaniguda and Mundaguda villages under sadar police limits. Operation of brick kilns has not only resulted in receding of ground water level, people also suffer from respiratory disorders inhaling the fumes generated by these units, said a few villagers.
On the other hand, the kiln owners forcibly use the fertile soil of the farmland making the farmers suffer, it was learnt.
Hearing a writ petition May 15, 2012, Supreme Court asked all Chief Secretaries of states to impose restrictions on baking of clay bricks in the open as it added to environmental pollution. The National Green Tribunal also directed the CSs and state environment ministries to check the operation of illegal kilns in September 2013. Even as it has been more than four years since the state government received these orders, they are not executed properly in Malkangiri district, it was learnt.
When contacted, sub-collector Lingaraj Panda said there is a legal sanction for use of 25 per cent of fly ash in brick making and the owner can get subsidies on taxes. However, in case of making of clay bricks, the administration would check whether the unit obtains environment clearance or not and action would be taken accordingly, Panda added.
Meanwhile, the environmentalists and students working on the issue expressed concern over the blatant violation of NGT and SC orders.
“The illegal brick kilns continue to violate the norms due to lack of sincerity on the part of the district administration. Mushrooming of kilns has resulted in constant increase of day’s temperature in the town,” said environmentalist Prakash Chandra Patnaik. PNN