Thadagam valley brick kilns in Coimbatore back in operation
COIMBATORE: Brick kilns in Thadagam valley in Coimbatore have commenced operations on Wednesday after one and a half years.
Following a court order, the 177 odd brick kilns were sealed by Coimbatore Collector in June 2021 due to various violations. However, the brick kiln owners appealed to the Commissioner of Geology and Mining against the order.
In their affidavits to the Commissioner, the brick kiln owners claimed to have paid application fees, mining fees and registration fees as per rules. Also, they claimed to excavate soil only from the patta land and not from government lands.
Therefore, the Commissioner of Geology and Mining issued an order imposing a fine amount ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 30 lakh for the brick kilns to resume operations. They were asked to pay a first installment of Rs 2 lakh.
Brick kilns were located mainly in Chinna Thadagam, Veerapandi, Nanjundapuram, Somayampalayam and Pannimadai in Coimbatore outskirts. The Mining Department also permitted brick kilns operators to take already manufactured bricks stocked in their premises.
With the resumption of works in brick kiln units, the migrant workers and labourers from Southern districts, who were left jobless due to closure of units, began to return to work.
“Only some units have commenced production of bricks, while others are shifting huge quantities of bricks out of their premises to be sold. Prices of bricks are likely to come down soon, once production commences full-fledged in the units,” said a brick kiln manufacturer.
However, environmentalists were wary of the development as allowing the brick kilns, located on forest fringes, to resume operations may pose a threat to wildlife.