The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected a plea for protection to brick kiln owners who had failed to switch to the newly mandated emissions technology across the State.The Punjab government had issued orders directing that all brick kiln owners convert their polluting units to new norms by September 30, beyond which no conventional brick kilns would be allowed to operate.Several brick kiln owners had approached the court against the State government’s orders, but in their resumed hearing on Thursday, a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice H.S. Sidhu refused to grant any relief to them.CPCB guidelinesIn the previous hearing on October 1, Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda had placed before the court details of the State government’s orders and directives, arguing that these were in compliance with the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board, various circulars of the Punjab Pollution Control Board as well as orders passed by the National Green Tribunal dated January 22, 2019.According to the State government’s orders, brick kilns found continuing to operate without converting to the new technology will be required to pay compensation on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, amounting to ₹25,000 per month for a kiln with a capacity of more than 30,000 bricks per day and ₹20,000 per month for kilns with a capacity of less than 30,000 bricks per day.In their petition, brick kiln owners stated that they were in the process of converting to the new technology but it was taking time due to lack of trained persons..
India’s Gurbaj Singh (right) battles for the ball with South Korea’s Lee Nam-yong during the semifinal match at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, on Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Photo: APThe Indian men’s hockey team has made it to the finals of the Asian Games after 12 years by defeating South Korea at Incheon on Tuesday.The sole deciding goal of the match came from Akashdeep Singh in the third quarter, which will now see India fighting it out for the gold medal game at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.South Korea tried its best for the equalising goal but the solid Indian defense led by Ramandeep Singh didn’t allow any plausible chances.Akashdeep’s goal, which gave India the slim margin of 1-0, came in the dying minutes of the 3rd quarter.The road to the semi-final, however, hasn’t been too easy for the Indian men. The Sardar Singh-led side came back well after losing a tense third Pool B game against Pakistan 1-2 to put it across China 2-0 in their fourth and last league match to qualify for the last-four at the Seonhak hockey stadium.India, who last won a gold in the 1998 Bangkok edition under Dhanraj Pillay’s captaincy, are once again looking for a top finish and gain a direct entry into the 2016 Rio Olympics.