Order of the National Green Tribunal brick kilns operating in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, 09/05/2022

  • 09/05/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Mukesh Kumar Aggarwal Vs Central Pollution Control Board & Others dated 09/05/2022.

Grievance in the application is against the failure to take adequate remedial measures against air pollution caused by the operation of brick kilns in Mathura district resulting in severe health impact on the lives of the citizens. One of the identified causes of air pollution is 350 brick kilns operated by coal using polluted fuel like spent organic, solvent, oily residue, pet coke, filter press cake, plastic rubber, leather waste etc. The NGT had taken up the case and had passed a number of orders - April 13, 2021; August 12, 2021 and November 21, 2021.

The NGT, May 9, 2022 noted that the Joint Committee report, February 23, 2022 mentioned the failure of the administration in enforcing the law for compliance of consent conditions and siting norms with respect to brick kilns. Necessary verification process has not been undertaken by the authorities as required. Inspite of closure directions issued by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, most of the brick kilns are not following the closure order.

The court said the matter stands covered by the order of the Supreme Court, April 8, 2022 (Civil Appeal Diary No.- 18213/2021, NCR Brick Kiln Association Vs Central Pollution Control Board & Ors) and it would be appropriate to dispose of the matter in light thereof.

The SC had said that brick kilns can operate subject to the units complying with MoEF&CC Notification, February 22, 2022 / Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2022. The main points of the Notification are the following:

  • All new brick kilns shall be allowed only with zig-zag technology  or vertical shaft or use of piped natural gas as fuel in brick making
  • The existing brick kilns which are not following the norms must convert to zig-zag technology or vertical shaft or used piped natural gas as fuel in brick making within a period of one year in case of kilns located within ten kilometre radius of non attainment cities as defined by the Central Pollution Control Board and two years for other areas.

Further action has to be strictly taken as per the directions of the SC and Notification of the MoEF&CC, February 22, 2022. The compliance has to be monitored by a joint committee of the CPCB, state PCB and the District Magistrte for a period of three months and thereafter by the concerned statutory regulators, the NGT order passed by the two member bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal read.