Farmers demand stringent action from TNPCB on brick kilns

A farmers’ outfit from Annur has called for stringent action against brick kilns in Thadagam valley by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) for red earth mining in the area.

Submitting a petition to Collector K. Rajamani during the grievances redress meeting, the farmers from Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam said the TNPCB officials from Chennai had come for inspection at a time when the brick kilns reduced their operations due to northeast monsoon, thereby leading to misleading results on air pollution.

The petition also accused the TNPCB of not having adequate equipment to inspect the heating of the ground surface at a temperature of 1,000 degree Celsius, which might result in the depletion of groundwater in the region. “The brick kilns must operate only after being approved by the TNPCB,” the petition said.

The inspections must be conducted continuously for a period of at least six months in Thadagam valley and an automatic weather station that worked throughout the year should be set up in the region, the petitioners demanded. Noting that a similar inspection by TNPCB was carried out in 2013, the farmers said the officials must make the findings of that inspection public.

On October 9, a team from the TNPCB in Chennai visited the region to analyse the extent of air and sound pollution ahead of the hearing of a public interest litigation seeking ban on illegal mining at the Madras High Court on October 17.

Despite repeated attempts by The Hindu, TNPCB officials could not be reached for comments.

‘No case registered’

S. Ganesh of Thadagam, an activist against red earth mining, said that no case was registered by police two weeks after brick kiln owners allegedly threatened him in his residence.

He told The Hindu only a community service register was provided after accepting the complaint petition from him and T.M.S. Rajendran, a farmer.

Confirming this, Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar said that he had asked for a report on this incident, following which further action would be taken.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:14:14 PM |

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