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Brick kilns responsible for 30pc air pollution

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Speakers tell seminar

Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed speaks at a seminar at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the city yesterday. On his right are M Sirajul Islam Molla and Iqbal Habib and on his left is Mohidul Haque Khan.

Photo: STARStaff Correspondent

Use of firewood and low quality coal in the brick kilns is causing massive air pollution, environmentalists said at a seminar yesterday and urged the government to take steps to protect the forest as well as the environment.

The brick kilns are responsible for 30 percent of air pollution in the country, said Dr Mia M Hossainuzzaman of Presidency University in his keynote paper.

He said there are around 5,000 registered brick kilns in the country, and 1200 of them are located around the capital. Of them, 26 kilns use natural gas, while others consume 22 lakh tonnes of coal and 19 lakh tonnes of firewood a year despite the fact that the law restricts the use of wood in the brick kilns.

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) organised the seminar on 'A technological solution to air pollution caused by brick kilns' at Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium, says a press release.

Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed, vice-president of Bapa, said the brick kilns use low quality coal mostly imported from Meghalaya of India, which produces 7 to 10 percent sulphur, while locally produced coal emits only 1 percent sulphur.

So, the authorities must think of alternatives to low quality coal, he said.

The speakers urged the authorities concerned to find alternative ways to bake bricks and to use high quality coal in order to curb air pollution and save the forests.

They said that the brick kilns are also creating pressure on the country's agricultural land and pose a threat to forest and biodiversity.

They recommended implementing the Brick Baking (Regulations) Act 1989 to stop use of firewood in brick kilns, providing co mpensation to the people affected by pollution and not allowing the use of coal that produces over one percent sulphur.

Environmentalists Mohidul Haque Khan, JK Baral, Zakir Hossain, Mihir Biswas, architect Iqbal Habib, Shahjahan Mridha, Dr Mahbub Hossain, Dr Nurul Alam and Dr Abdul Hye Majumder also spoke at the seminar moderated by Sundar Jiban President M Sirajul Islam Molla.

Source: thedailystar


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