The Department of Environment director for air quality management wing Md Ziaul Haque said that after making mandatory use of blocks in government construction and renovation the ministry of environment, forest and climate change was going to publish another circular soon making block use mandatory in private construction work.
In November 2019, the government had published a circular to use block instead of brick in government construction gradually.
According to the circular, government will use 10 per cent block in its construction and renovation in 2019-20 fiscal year, 20 per cent in 2020-21, 30 per cent in 2021-22, 60 per cent in 2022-23, 80 per cent in 2023-24 and 100 per cent in 2014-25.
He said that DoE was working in several ways to promote blocks but it was not possible to change from brick to block all of a sudden.
Ziaul Haque said that over 30 per cent brickfields of the country became illegal when brick making and brickfield establishment (control) act was amended in 2019.
He said that the amended law imposed a ban on certain areas where brickfield setting would be deemed illegal. The areas include residential, reserved, or commercial, city corporation, municipality or upazila sadar, wetland, crop field, ecologically critical area, forest and degraded air shed area.
DoE officials admitted that over 8,500 brickfields were registered in 2014. But green activists claimed that a huge number of brickfields were on operation in districts across the country defying any permission.
Ziaul Haque said that based on the law DoE enlisted a number of brickfields for demolition to stop air pollution but the DoE could not take actions against clay brick producers for topsoil burning.
‘All brickfields of the country use topsoil but we are not taking actions against them now. We are taking actions against the kilns which are polluting the air by emitting black smoke,’ he said.
He said that until alternative of bricks became available clay brick ban was not possible as brick was essential in all development activities.
He said that to promote block, the DoE was advocating to the government to provide advantages to the entrepreneurs.
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