The Department of Environment (DoE) in a drive yesterday demolished five brick kilns and fined the owners Tk 12 lakh each for causing massive environmental pollution in Dautia area of Dhamrai under Dhaka district.
The brick kilns are: Sun, USA, Dautia, Aziz and Halima enterprises, said Executive Magistrate Maksudul Islam, who led the drive.
As per law, there should be no brick kilns within 1.5km of residential areas, educational institutions and hospitals. But these companies had been operating illegally, defying law.
In additions, those were using topsoil from arable lands and polluting the environment, he added.
Owners of four brick kilns have already paid the fine, said the executive magistrate.
He said they also dismantled four other
kilns in the area and fined them earlier this month.
There are over hundred illegal brick kilns operating in Dhamrai, contributing to the deteriorating air quality in the country, said experts.
According to DoE, brick kilns are the top air polluters, particularly during dry season when most bricks are made, turning the air quality “severely unhealthy”. Air quality plummets between November and April when brick kilns operate and when there are a lot of particles in the air.
To this end, the High Court on November 26 ordered the government to conduct mobile court drives to shut down illegal brick kilns in five districts -- Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Munshiganj and Manikganj -- within 15 days.
The order came days after worrying data regarding Dhaka’s air pollution was made public.