Fly ash brick industry in Ganjam district is not developing due to illegal existence of polluting traditional brick making units, alleged a group of inhabitants of Purushottampur block of the district, who are aggrieved by the pollution caused by the brick kilns.

They have sent a memorandum addressed to the Governor and the Chief Minister regarding it through the project director of Ganjam District Rural Development Agency (DRDA). According to them due to traditional brick making fertile soil near water bodies is getting destroyed and agricultural prospects of these land patches is getting reduced.

They alleged that although the State government decided to promote fly ash bricks by training young entrepreneurs and providing subsidy for it, the illegal existence of illegal traditional polluting brick kilns is a major hindrance in the promotion of fly ash bricks. It was alleged that persons from Andhra Pradesh were behind the illegal polluting traditional brick kilns. In Ganajm district eight fly ash brick making units were started in 2012-13 but their business has not picked up due to easy availability of traditional bricks manufactured in illegal brick kilns, they said.

Closure ordered

It may be noted that in June 2013, all district administrations in the State were directed to prevent brick kiln units on river sides which was violation of provisions of Environment (protection) Act 1986. It was pointed out that some unscrupulous persons were setting up unauthorised brick kilns along the rivers leading to erosion as well as environmental threats.

It may be noted that inhabitants of some other blocks of Ganjam district have also complained about unauthorised existence of polluting brick kilns in their areas. Frustrated by the lack of action by government and administration against the polluting brick kilns, villagers of Kukudakhandi block in Ganjam district have approached court of law.

On behalf of inhabitants of Jugudi, Tamana, Panchama areas of Kukudakhandi block, social activist Chandrasekhar Sahu has filed a public interest litigation in High Court. The villagers alleged that despite complaints authorities had not taken any action against the polluting brick kilns in their area. Some villagers of Rangeilunda block in Ganjam district had also threatened to take up the path of agitation if administration did not take action against the polluting brick kilns in their area.