Brick kilns posing threat to public health

Bhaktapur, March 22

Brick kilns in the eastern part of Bhaktapur district are posing serious threat to public health and nearby human settlements.

As many as 63 brick kilns are located at Jhaukhel, Chaling, Sudal and Bageshowri of Changunarayan Municipality, and Nangkhel and Chitrapur of Suryabinayak Municipality.

People residing in the area say the brick kilns have not only added to air pollution but have also turned large swathes of arable land barren due to excessive digging of mud using excavators,” said locals.

Similarly, the brick kilns, which are in operation for nearly a decade now, have drastically changed the land structure of the area. The roads in the area are also in poor condition due to excessive movement of heavy trucks.

According to Changunarayan Municipality Mayor Som Mishra, workers at brick kilns are exposed to serious health hazards. They are compelled to work under adverse conditions without facilities like drinking water and toilets. He also said that there were a good number of children employed at those brick kilns.

According to Mayor Mishra, these brick kilns have also violated the general rule which says that such industries should be at least two kilometers away from a residential area and should not be near forests.

Mayor of Suryabinayak Municipality BasuDevThapa said due to lack of monitoring body at the local level, they had not been able to take action against the brick kilns that have been violating the rules.

Mayors of both municipalities said they did not have authority to monitor such industries.

RadhikaSubedi, 45, said  villagers leased their land as they were offered good money.