'Bricks kilns should be made environment friendly'
KATHMANDU, Jan. 11: Participants of a program said that if new technology is utilized, the energy that is spent in large amount in this sector could be saved thereby controlling environment pollution caused from Brick industry.
As many as 705 brick industries produce some five billion pieces of bricks annually.
During the seminar organized with a view to holding discussions on the brick production in Nepal, reform of the technology, policy changes and making the brick production environment-friendly in the future, the participants said of the total coal imported in the country, 58 per cent of it is consumed in brick industry.
The participant brick experts said that the coal would not be needed to prepare bricks if modern machines were installed to produce bricks, it would decrease pollution as the machine is smoke free. But buying the machine was out of the brick entrepreneurs´ financial capacity as the machine costs 7,000 US Dollars.
Speaking at the program, Government´s Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudyal said that a report shows that the brick industries used to be a source of 30 per cent pollution in the Kathmandu Valley, adding that the government was committed to making the sector technically advanced by coordinating with various ministries. He also stressed on the monitoring of this sector and making people aware about the adverse impact of pollution emanating from the brick industries.
Presenting a paper in the program organized by the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries and Federation of Nepal Brick Industry, brick expert Bhishma Pandit said the brick kilns run in the traditional way consume two tons of coal every day.
He said majority of the workers in the brick industries are from India and are temporary and that it has been difficult to provide proper training to them.
Joint Secretary at the Finance Ministry Rammani Dawadi said though the government has the provision of providing discount on excise duty to pollution-free brick kilns, no industries have reached to the ministry demanding the discount.
Mahendra Chitrakar of the federation, brick entrepreneur Rajendra Maharjan, among others, discussed the problems in this sector.