314 illegal brick kilns shut down in 5 districts: DoE to HC
Some 314 illegal brick kilns out of total 411 in Dhaka and four other surrounding districts have been shut down since November last year to control the air pollution.
Though all illegal brick kilns in four districts -- Gazipur, Manikganj, Narayanganj and Munshiganj -- have been evicted, some 97 of them are still now running in Narayanganj and polluting the environment, Abdul Hamid, director general of Department of Environment (DoE), told the High Court today (May 17, 2022).
He said the DoE, district administrations, and owners have shut down the illegal brick kilns in line with the High Court directives.
DG Abdul Hamid told the HC during hearing of a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) in 2019 seeking necessary directives to curb air pollution.
A total of Tk 20.71 crore fine has been collected from 953 brick kilns across the country in the current fiscal year, he said, adding the remaining brick kilns could not be evicted as the teams concerned could not reach the remote areas where those have been established.
He also said around 275 writ petitions, which were filed with the HC challenging the moves to close the brick fields, have been accepted by the DoE since November last year to March this year.
The HC has delivered stay orders for six months following the petitions and therefore, necessary action could not be taken against several brick kilns, DG Abdul Hamid added.
The Air Pollution Control Rules-2022, which has been prepared for effectively controlling and reducing the air pollution, is awaiting the final approval from the authorities concerned of the government, the DG said appearing before the HC bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim.
Deputy commissioners of the five districts also appeared before the HC bench and explained their steps to shut down the illegal brick kilns today.
After hearing their statements, the bench ordered them to demolish all the remaining illegal brick kilns immediately and to submit separate reports in details after complying with the directives in two weeks before it.
The HC also set May 31 for hearing and passing further order on this issue and exonerated the DG of DoE and the DCs from personal appearance before it.
Lawyer Manzill Murshid appeared for the writ petitioner, while lawyer Amatul Karim Swapna stood for DoE and Deputy Attorney General Kazi Mynul Hassan represented the state during hearing of the petition.