A good number of brick kilns are operating along the Mumbai highway between Nellore and Atmakur, a fact that has triggered concern among those who travel frequently on this highway.

The authorities have time and again asked the owners of these kilns to shift to interior places but they feel that the proposal will not be remunerative. The rice husk and dry leaves used in the brick kilns give rise to a fine particulate matter that remains suspended in the air. This dust causes inconvenience to motorists.

Nearly 20 brick kilns are located between Nellore and Buchireddypalem. With the construction industry slowly picking up, the sale of bricks has picked up as well.

The floating population between the surrounding villages is quite heavy for Nellore city. The problem is more towards Buchireddypalem and Jonnawada area.

The local public and village leaders have made representations about the problem. However, the kiln operators are somehow managing with their influence as well as their argument regarding financial viability.

The construction industry is also supporting the cause of the kilns, which need to be located closer to the rivers and water bodies where the necessary variety of soil is available. Kiln workers also prefer to stay close to the highway considering the advantage of reaching the city and nearby towns.

“It is a long-time demand. Nobody seems to be able to move these kilns away from the highway,” said Rangaiah, a resident of Nellore.