Child labor being promoted in kilns operating without Complying Pollution Norms
Mushrooming of Brick Kilns in Beerwah –Budgam, Serious threat to agricultural land and health.
Social Activist Syed Karar Hashmi revealed that due the large emission of the black smog from the burners of brick kilns established in agricultural land of Beerwah –Budgam roadsides are continuously increasing health and environmental risks in the area. This Villages falling in the said area including Mirgund, Wahpora,Sonpah, Hayatpora, Goundipora, Dansyra, Narwari, Utligam, Sarath Batpora, Chandpora, NasrullahPora and so on.
Hashmi further said that the district administration and government machinery have not taken a single legal action against any one brick kiln owner till date. People of the vicinity have several times complained that they are suffering from short of breath, liver diseases and other respiratory complexities due to black smog oozing out from the established brick kilns. From the burning of coals in kilns, emission of harmful gases like Carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide responsible for serious rise of bronchitis and asthma in the locality, particularly among youth. The renowed social Activist of Beerwah Budgam Mr Javaid Beigh said, “Brick kilns operating across valley particularly in Beerwah are without complying with the pollution norms and necessary clearances from the authority, we will intensify our drive against all established brick kilns with an intention to save our future generation from the harmful effects of the same.” Added that shocking part of the story is that Children’s below age group of 12-14 are working in brick kilns and construction sites in Beewah-Budgam.
The international standard set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Minimum age Convention, in which the act prohibits children below 14 years of age in any form of labor, prohibits employment and admission of children below this age to hazardous work in any form. The authorities have apparently turned blind eye to all this frenzy mess going on in a large scale, though large number of kilns have been established in agricultural land, posing a great threat to the environment as a whole. In a quest of rapid economic growth, development of modern technologies has been a key determinant role and considered key priorities to accelerate urbanization and industrialization, not forget that protection of the environment has been given the same importance as well. With increasing population, demand for bricks for construction is also increasing, thus established brick kilns deteriorate of natural resources like soil, water and air. Karar Hashmi added
Although the kilns are without a doubt a health risk, many people in the concerned villages especially children’s are suffering from Asthma, Jaundice and many respiratory symptoms and illnesses. The huge number of kilns in Beewah Budgam Villages is a big question to the administration to deal with. The abundant flora and fauna, natural landscape, greenery, meadows were turned obsolete due to day and night moving of Tippers and others big vehicles with bricks, on contrary, huge smog spreading in the area on daily basis. Life of residents have been made hectic and hell, several families have already migrated towards other safer places in keeping view overall scenario. The continuous movement of vehicles has made the road connecting Budgam –Beerwah into worst of its conditions. The mushrooming of Brick kilns in Sonpah, hayatpora and Sarth Batpora is a matter of great concern and needs urgent attention to look into.
Social Activist Syed Karar Hashmi requested the Deputy Commissioner of the Budgam Miss Syed Sehrish and other high ups to take immediate steps against mushrooming of brick kilns in the concerned area without further delay. Hope steps be taken to ensure safety and security of the inhabitants residing in the concerned villages, on the other hand, strategy to be evolved to protect environment and agricultural land without beating to the bush.
Author is Social Activist and Political Commentator from Central Kashmir Ganderbal J&K, presently studying at Jamia Al Mustafa International University Qom Iran
Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Valley Online’s editorial stance.