September 10, 2019
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has said brick kilns operating in Thadagam valley are not registered.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has said that over 100 brick kilns in Thadagam valley region have not been issued permission to run and hence are unregistered and illegal. This was revealed in an RTI query filed by one S. Ganesh and came just days after two residents representing the villages of Thadagam, Nanjundapuram, Veerapandi, Pannimadai and Somayampalayam submitted a petition to the District Collector to stop the brick kilns from functioning since they were illegally mining red sand.
District Environmental Engineer K Manivannan gave the RTI reply to Ganesh, a member representing the group demanding a ban on red earth mining in the valley. The TNPCB reply was a big shock to residents of the villages in Thadagam valley, where the brick kilns are reportedly damaging their lives causing pollution and respiratory ailments.
The process to make bricks requires burning large amounts of fuel which emits particles into the air. The bricks must be fired to 700-1,100 degree Celsius. The process results in emission of particulate matter including sulphur dioxide (S02), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). These gases cause pollution and health issues. The Covai Post had already reported this in an earlier issue.
On Tuesday, environmental activist Mohanraj visited the Collector’s office to file a complaint seeking immediate steps to halt the brick kilns from functioning. He said, “The officials concerned must hear the people’s voices and should seal these industries running without registering.” He added that red sand mining had become a huge threat to the surroundings. The offenders continue to mine red sand by digging up more than what is stipulated, which is 3 ft.
The brick kiln owners’ association members had stopped work for a few days in the valley giving the residents the impression that they had shut down. Sources said a joint team from the offices of Director of Geology and Mining Department and District Officer of TNPCB would be formed soon to address the issue.