Hanoi People's Committee has required local authorities to strengthen inspections on brick production at traditional kilns across the city to curb environmental pollution.

In recent years, these traditional kilns have been known for using low-quality coal and out-moded methods that cause massive air pollution, waste of agricultural land and potential workplace safety concerns.

According to vice chairman of the committee Phi Thai Binh, inspections will highlight Government policies to replace old traditional brick kilns with modern and friendly-environmental models by 2011.

Districts and commune-level authorities are required to re-examine and provide accurate numbers of existing traditional brick kilns, the numbers of workers and labour safety.

Binh asked local authorities not to extend contracts for traditional brick kilns which caused massive air pollution. These kilns would be banned from using agricultural land, to source materials for brick production.

Local authorities would have to propose measures to encourage kiln owners to transform their business and create alternative jobs for labourers who work at these kilns.

They were also requested to create conditions for organisations and individuals who wish to invest in hi-tech brick kilns, which will save 42 percent of coal use and reduces fumes such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide to six times less than the levels of traditional kilns.

Currently, more than 1,000 traditional brick kilns are estimated to operate in suburban areas along the Hong and Day rivers. Many are responsible for serious pollution and have a negative affect on local people's lives./.