Action plan mooted to boost usage of fly-ash bricks

They prevent the use of top soil for manufacturing of clay bricks

Published - January 07, 2019 08:00 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Fly ash bricks being manufactured at a facility in Parawada of Visakhapatnam district.

Fly ash bricks being manufactured at a facility in Parawada of Visakhapatnam district.

Only 66 billion out of a whopping 400 billion bricks are made of fly ash every year, according to a study conducted by the city-based Institute for Solid Waste Research and Ecological Balance.

The study underscores the need to use more fly ash bricks in construction of buildings as it prevents two things: further contamination of the environment by the huge quantities of fly ash generated by thermal units as well as the usage of top soil for clay bricks, according to N. Kalidas, director of the institute.

Proposal to Centre

The government has banned the manufacture of clay bricks within 300 km of thermal units but the ban does not seem to be effectively implemented as manufacturing of clay bricks continues, Mr. Kalidas says, adding that the only alternative is to wean the brick kiln owners away and help them adapt to manufacturing of fly ash bricks.

To deal with the problem of disposal of fly ash, which is usually dumped in ponds, Mr. Kalidas suggested a national action plan to the Union Government so as to bring the estimated 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh clay brick makers into an organised fly ash brick-making sector.

“It envisages carrying out an extensive campaign by roping in 100 IIT and engineering graduates training the brick makers to disseminate technology. Ten of them should be sent to each State to work in coordination with the government departments concerned and the District Industries Centre to demonstrate and disseminate information and knowledge with a field lab to demonstrate. Recently, one such workshop was organised in coordination with the Centre for Science and Environment at Tirupati,” Mr. Kalidas said.

Dissemination should be taken up at brick kilns and by constructing a building or laying a road in nearby villages, he suggested.

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