The prevalent grounds behind disaster smog are the environmental pollution and smoke from kilns and factories. To combat smog the government ordered for the closure of brick-kilns more than 70 days but now Punjab Government has taken a wise decision by ordering re-opening of brick-kilns in the province, although it is partial reopening and needs to be looked into in a extensive framework.
The provincial government permitted the brick-kilns to recommence their operations in twenty-five districts while those in eleven others would remain closed, possibly until end of December when smog problem starts mitigating.
There is no doubt that the decision to close down brick-kilns in Punjab was provoked by the craving of the authorities concerned to address the issue of environmental degradation.
The decision was taken at the recommendations of the Smog Commission which also asked brick-kilns owners to convert their brick kilns to new zigzag technology during the closure period.
The poor quality fuel being used in brick kilns will not be tolerated during this period. Brick Kilns Owners Association of Pakistan is supportive of the governmental requirement to adapt zigzag technology and in fact a model plant has also been set up in Lahore but its demand that the Government should support financially the adoption of the technology also deserves consideration by the Government.
The money that the Government spends on tackling the consequences of environmental pollution should better be spent on environment friendly technology. There should be no capricious decisions of closing down brick-kilns as it amounts to stingy the construction sector of an imperative ingredient for construction.
Those brick kilns which were found involved in violation would be sealed for an indefinite period to mitigate the worse smog impacts. The considerable increase in price of bricks and weak enforcement and observation means the price-hike would not be reverted even after reopening of the brick-kilns.