The deputy commissioners (DCs) of 64 districts have been requested to take legal steps against illegal brick kilns that pollute the environment and to stop the use of wood as fuel in the brickfields.

Farhina Ahmed, secretary to the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry called on the DCs to do so at a meeting with them organised by the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, held at the Secretariat on Tuesday.

Read more: Remove illegal brick kilns in 4 districts: HC

The ministry organised the meeting in an effort to take steps to control the pollution caused by the illegal brick kilns and stop use of plastic and polythene.

Farhina Ahmed, secretary to the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, additional secretaries Sanjay Kumar Bhoumik and Mizanur Rahman, Directorate General of the Department of Environment Abdul Hamid and other high officials of the ministry were present at the meeting.

The environment secretary said use of agricultural land and destruction of agricultural land should be stopped to ensure food security.

She also directed the director general of the Department of Environment to take necessary steps to ensure the use of 100 percent environment-friendly block bricks in all government works by the year 2025 as per the target fixed by the government. 

Read more: Brick kilns threaten environment & cause health hazards in south-western Bangladesh

In order to involve all the stakeholders to prevent various types of pollution including brick kilns, she instructed the DoE to organise awareness meetings in all the districts of the country on an urgent basis.

In the meeting, it was decided to strengthen the regular enforcement and mobile court drives conducted by the DoE and the district administration to stop the production and use of polythene shopping bags and the marketing of the wrappers which have been banned by the government. 

It was decided to take necessary initiatives to implement the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2021 for the proper management of solid waste.

In addition, instructions were given to implement the three-year action plan to stop the use of single-use plastic in 40 upazilas of 12 districts of the coastal region on an urgent basis.

During the meeting, the officials of the ministry and the deputy commissioners exchanged their views on taking effective measures to stop illegal brick kilns and use of plastic and polythene. 

They were also requested to update the relevant laws and regulations and solve some of the existing problems. 

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