ISLAMABAD - Realising the fact that smoke emitting Brick Kilns near Benazir Bhutto International Airport are causing air pollution depending on the wind direction and affecting visibility aeroplanes, the Environment Ministry on Tuesday directed the 12 Brick Kilns owners to stop their operation within a month. Under section 16 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997,the implementing agency of the Ministry, Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has served Environment Protection Orders (EPOs) to the brick kilns owners. It is to be mentioned here that the high ups of the Ministry often received a number of complaints about environmental pollution caused by brick kilns, which emit thick black smoke exceeding the permissible limits. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was also perusing the matter since long to close down these brick kilns as visibility at the airport runway was being affected due to emission of smoke. After providing opportunity to the brick Kilns owner to explain their version, the high ups of Pakistan Environment Protection Agency has decided that the brick kilns owners were unable to control pollution, therefore they issued notice to close down the operation of brick kilns immediately, falling under the Red Zone ( nearer to Benazir Bhutto International Airport). Sources also informed that the two brick kilns adjacent to Airport were already issued Environment Protection Orders to stop operation, of which one got stay orders from the court. Besides other measures, it was proposed to close down 12 brick kilns nearer to the Airport by year 2009, closure of 30 brick kilns lying in orange zone (within ICT) by year 2012 and closing of 50 brick kiln (outer periphery of ICT) by year 2015. A survey conducted in 2005 by the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), an implementation agency of the Ministry of Environment revealed that there were nearly 50 brick kilns in Rawalpindi and Islamabad jurisdiction, which are working with existing old technology and creating devastating level of air pollution. Burning of coal in brick kilns always resulted in the release of several air pollutants in atmosphere such as, Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulphur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter. At local level, particularly in the vicinity of a brick kiln, these pollutants are injurious to human health, animal and plant life. While talking about appalling affects of existing methods of brick making, an official of the ministry informed that on the directives of the Minister of Environment, Pak-EPA officials prepared a detail presentation on available options for averting smoke-emitting brick kilns from the jurisdiction of twin cities. During a meeting being held in recent past, they gave detailed presentation to the Minster of Environment on alternative options. In order to overcome pollution caused by brick kilns business, several plans were made in past, but these remained unsuccessful. According to official sources, in near past the official of the ministry were considering for alternative options for adopting modern technologies and shifting smoke-emitting brick kilns, surrounding Benazir Bhutto International Airport to the outskirts of the Capital in a bid to make residential areas pollution-free. It was also learnt that under the Ministry of Interior, a comprehensive plan of shifting smoke-emitting brick kilns, surrounding Benazir Bhutto International Airport, to the outskirts of the Capital was also under consideration. About under consider process another official source outside the ministry on condition of anonymity informed that the administration of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has also constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Commissioner and was working out a phased plan for shifting the brick kilns from area.