Starting from today hundreds of brick kilns can resume production due to “some visible improvement” in air quality in Delhi. On October 17 last year, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had imposed the measures banning operation of brick kilns in NCR under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to combat pollution in the city ahead of the winter.
“The GRAP category of ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ will be lifted, starting March 1. So, the restrictions imposed in the city last October will also be lifted. However, the category now would be ‘moderate to poor’ until we (EPCA) further upgrade it,” EPCA member Sunita Narain said.
“About 1,400 brick kiln owners have submitted affidavits to EPCA undertaking commitment to shift to improved-zigzag kiln technology by April 2018. Roughly, 600 have converted. By July 1, 2018, only zigzag technology-compliant kilns will be allowed to operate ,” Narain said.
Traditionally, most of the brick makers use Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kiln which is a continuous, moving fire kiln operated under a natural-draught provided by a fixed chimney. FCBTK technology suffers from incomplete combustion of fuel, indicated by high CO concentration in flue gas (PPM range), black smoke, and unburnt coal deposition at the floor of the kiln. The zigzag kiln, on the other hand, is an improved version of the FCBTK. The main innovation is in the arrangement of bricks. In a Zigzag kiln, the bricks are arranged in such a way that the air is forced to follow a zigzag path. Lower energy consumption, better environment performance and superior quality of bricks are some of the advantages of using zigzag kiln technology.