Coimbatore district administration has initiated proceedings for the closure of all the brick kilns/chambers in five village panchayats in Thadagam valley as a follow-up to an order issued by the Madras High Court on April 30 this year.
Sources in the know of the development said that closure proceedings were served on all the brick kilns in the valley namely, Chinna Thadagam, Nanjundapuram, Veerapandi, Pannimadai and Somaiyampalayam, by registered post.
“The proceedings were completed by former District Collector S. Nagarajan and orders were served based on the brick kilns/chambers through the Department of Geology and Mining,” said a senior official involved in the process.
Setting aside previous closure orders issued by Coimbatore north tahsildar, the High Court had held that tahsildar was not empowered to order the closure of brick kilns. The court had directed the District Collector to pass appropriate orders within four weeks after hearing from brick kiln owners.
The official said the closure orders were served on the brick kilns/chambers within the time stipulated by the court. The owners of the brick kilns were not allowed to move any property from the compounds of their brick kilns/chambers, added the official.
According to the district administration, 186 brick kilns/chambers in the valley had not obtained proper licences for operation. Activists who had been campaigning for the closure of brick kilns had submitted to the district administration that the five village panchayats had 24 more units.
While setting aside the closure order issued by the tahsildar, justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana had said that the authorities were duty bound to regulate the brick kilns activities by reviewing the permission/licence or clearance granted to the brick kiln operators, which they failed.
The justice had also observed that that it was unfortunate to note that the entire district administration, in dealing with the issue at hand, failed to discharge their duties as mandated by the statute.