Labour organisations announce protesting against closure of brick kilns


FAISALABAD: Labour organisations have strongly criticised the Punjab government’s decision of closing at least 700 brick kilns lacking environment-friendly zigzag technology across the province and announced protesting against the “uncalculated” decision.

Last month, the provincial environment department had announced shutting down the kilns for two months in a bid to tackle the menace of smog.

On Tuesday, members of the labour organisations said that the government’s “uncalculated” move had left thousands of people unemployed and the authorities had also not taken any steps to control the subsequent increase in the prices of bricks.

“How will I support my family and feed my children for the next two months?” asked Sumaira Bibi, 35, who with her 60-year-old husband frames up to 1,200 bricks every day, earning around Rs700.

The government has also ordered that all kilns be converted to “zigzag” technology, a design change that makes more efficient use of fuel, according to the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency.

An internal zigzag structure in kilns, combined with the use of an air blower, can cut the consumption of coal, slash emissions substantially and improve the quality of bricks produced, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.

It is worth mentioning here that International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a Nepal-based non-governmental organisation, has carried out two training programmes on the technology for kiln owners in Pakistan, aiming to cut smog and climate-changing emissions.