District administration warns brick kilns against illegal operation

The district administration has warned operators of brick kilns/chambers in five village panchayats in Thadagam valley of taking legal action for illegal operation.

The move comes a day after the Madras High Court set aside the order issued by the Coimbatore North Tahsildar to close down brick kilns in the valley.

The court on Friday held that the Tahsildar was not empowered to order the closure of brick kilns and directed the District Collector to pass appropriate orders on the issue within four weeks after hearing the brick kiln owners.

The court in its order had said that “It is open to the respondents to take any action against the brick kilns, including the petitioners, if it is found that the same has been operated without any licence/clearance in the manner known to law. This order would not preclude the authorities in exercising their powers in accordance with law. It is also made clear that the owners of the brick kilns can run the show, if they possess a valid licence and other documents to do so”.

In response to the order, the district administration said that operation of all brick kilns/chambers in the five village panchayats, including the 186 units which had not obtained licence, was illegal.

It said that operation of brick kilns in prohibited areas was an offence for violating the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of the Pollution Control Board.

According to the district administration, a case will be registered against the owner of the vehicle and the driver if they are found mining of soil for brick kilns illegally. The vehicle will also be seized. It further said that sale of bricks manufactured in brick kilns/chambers that operate illegally is also an offence.

The district administration said that the public can report illegal operation of vehicles belonging to the brick kilns to the Assistant Director of Geology and Mining (9791900487), Revenue Divisional Officer, Coimbatore North (9445924164), Coimbatore North Tahsildar (9445000571) and Thadagam police station (0422-2658955).

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