45 brick kilns closed down in twin cities’ surroundings: Zahid Hamid

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Friday said the government had closed down 45 brick kilns, out of 82, operating in surroundings of the
twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi after finding them hazard for environment and health.

Speaking in the National Assembly during the question-hour, he said the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA)) was regularly monitoring other 37brick kilns keeping in view all environmental and health aspects.

He said Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration was holding meetings with owners of brick kilns to convince them to shift their plants to other suitable places, but they were demanding compensation.

However, he said, if the brick kilns found violating the prescribed rules, “they will be closed down instantly.”
He clarified that there was no steel mills and brick kiln located in residential areas of Islamabad.

“However, it is a fact that steel mills located in Islamabad industrial area and brick kilns in peri-urban area, do cause environmental pollution.”

To a question, the minister said the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had been equipped with a European software for flood-forecasting, adding that with this technology efficiency of the Met department had improved considerably.

He said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Provincial Irrigation Departments (PIDs), PMD and its Flood Forecasting Division  (FFD) and Pakistan Communication for Indus Water (PCIW)
departments were involved in flood management in the country.

To another question, Zahid Hamid said in principal there was a ban on production of non-degradable plastic bags, but it could not implemented due to certain reasons.

However, he said, he would expedite the work to ensure ban on such material bags.