The air pollution is causing health problems in district Sheikhupura particularly in the city area mainly due to brick kilns, reveals a survey.

It was observed that a number of brick kilns are functioning in residential areas with the connivance of local Environment Protection Agency. The brick kiln owners are flouting the law by polluting the environment in residential areas. It is noted that at Hirn Minar Road where more than one dozen schools, housing schemes and thousands of inhabitants are living, brick kiln causing environmental pollution. Dozens of residents including Rehan of Sun City said that smoke billowing out of chimneys in brick kilns can be seen hanging over the surrounding areas. He said that workers, schoolchildren and women residing in the nearby houses are victims of the practice. Allah Yar Bhatti, a resident of the same locality, said that these kilns had made their lives miserable.

He said the use of rubber and plastic with coal pollutes the air, making it difficult for the residents to breathe. He further said that the unplanned brick kilns should be controlled immediately and shifted to far-flung area from the residential areas.

Muhammad Yousaf, a resident of Hirn Minar road, said that the Environment Department did not take any action against these kilns. He said the officials were not serious to control pollution. They demanded shifting of kilns from Hirn Minar road to other suitable place.

Dr Abdul Qayyum talking to The Nation disclosed that poly-aromatic is commonly found in smoke that causes vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, nausea and disorientation. Prolonged exposure may result in liver and renal diseases and even cancer, he added. 

The administrator of a private school where a large number of male and female students get education also disclosed that during school hours, the kiln smoke entered into the classrooms causing great nuisance to the children.

On contacting, an official of Environment Department said requesting anonymity that it was understaffed and faced with shortage of resources. Even then, he added his department was closely monitoring the brick kilns and had served notices on the brick kilns that were found violating the rules.