Bnot just pol­lute the air, RICK KILNS they also con­sume the fer­tile top layer of the soil. In­dia is the sec­ond largest pro­ducer of bricks in the world and man­u­fac­tures nearly 200 bil­lion bricks a year. About 65 per cent of th­ese bricks are made in the Gangetic plains,which have one of the world’s most fer­tile al­lu­vial soils.

The rea­son this sec­tor con­tin­ues to be ex­tremely dam­ag­ing to air and land re­sources is that it still uses tra­di­tional raw ma­te­rial and in­ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies to man­u­fac­ture bricks.Most of the kilns are in small towns and vil­lages,and fall in the un­or­gan­ised sec­tor which is dif­fi­cult to mon­i­tor.The Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment,Forests and Cli­mate Change has no­ti­fied par­tic­u­late mat­ter emis­sion stan­dards and min­i­mum stack heights based on the pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of the kiln and the tech­nol­ogy they use.But im­ple­men­ta­tion of th­ese rules re­mains poor.Since the mar­ket for bricks made from fly ash or con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste is vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent, the in­dus­try con­tin­ues to use soil.

Es­ti­mates show that ev­ery year 1.5 tril­lion bricks are pro­duced glob­ally,of which 87 per cent are pro­duced in Asia.China heads the list with 67 per cent of the global pro­duc­tion.

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