This article is written by Samridhi Sachdeva pursuing BBA LLB from Gitarattan International Business School, GGSIPU. This article talks about the prevention and control of water pollution and describes the functions of central and state boards of pollution control.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 was adopted to prevent and control the water pollution in India. It is a brief set of rules and duties for both the National and the State Board of the nation. It suggests some provisions regarding the control measures to prevent and control the water pollution caused by the industries and village areas. The main motive of this act is to restore the aquatic resources of the country. It gives power to the Central and the State Board to prevent the contamination of water by implementing the provisions mentioned under this Act by keeping checks on the State water bodies.
In our day-to-day lives, many such human activities are polluting the water bodies of the nation. Waste waters that enter the sea, rivers or lakes, contain a huge amount of pollutants, which makes the water bodies pollutant causing serious environmental hazards. Excessive organic matter, infecting organisms from industrial and hospital wastes, pollute water to a great extent.
This act aims to control the point source of water pollution. The main objective of this act is to maintain the water bodies in a healthy manner and to prevent any other serious hazards.
However, preventing water pollution is way better than controlling the problems it has created.
Relation with Indian Constitution
This Act applies to the whole of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura, West Bengal and Union Territories.
It was enacted in pursuance with the clause (1) of Article 252 of the Indian Constitution. According to this article, the Parliament does not have any power to make laws for the State with respect to matters mentioned above, except in articles 249 and 250 of the Indian Constitution.
Salient features of the Act
- It describes some important terms such as stream, outlet, sewer, pollution, etc.
- It established Central and State boards to control pollution under section 3 and 4. It also gives provisions regarding the joint board consisting of two or more states or union territories.
- The consent of the pollution control board(PCB) is required to open new outlets and discharges into streams and wells.
- The act also gives qualification, disqualification, terms and conditions of the service of members of the Central and State boards.
- It also prohibits the disposal of pollutants in streams and wells.
- It gives provisions to appeal against the Central and State board, if their decisions affect any individual.
- This act also gives punishment to the offences mentioned herein.
Composition of Central Board
The Central Board consist of the following key members:
- A chairman, having knowledge in matters related to environmental protection and experience in institutions like these and shall be appointed by the Central Government.
- A secretary, having knowledge and experience in scientific and management aspects of pollution control and shall be appointed by the Central Government.
- The Central Government shall also appoint not more than 5 members, to represent the Central Government.
- The Central Government shall also appoint not more than 5 members, from members of the State Board.
- The Central Government shall also appoint not more than 3 members, representing the agricultural, fishery, industry or any other interest.
- Two members representing the corporations owned or managed by the Central Government, shall be appointed by that Government.
Composition of State Board
The State Pollution Control Board consist of the following members:
- A chairman, having knowledge in matters related to environmental protection and experience in institutions like these, and shall be appointed by the State Government.
- A secretary, having knowledge and experience in scientific and management aspects of pollution control and shall be appointed by the State Government.
- The State Government shall also appoint not more than 5 members, representing the State Government.
- The State Government shall appoint not more than 5 members, from local authorities within the particular State.
- The State Government shall appoint not more than 3 members of interests in agriculture, fishery, industry or any other interest.
- Two members representing the Corporations owned or managed by the State Government, shall be appointed by that government.
Joint Pollution Control Board (JPCB)
In some cases, two or more States or Union Territories join together with an integrated mission to form Joint Board, termed as Joint Pollution Control Board. An official petition is required to submit to the Central Government, by Joint Board, to begin with any action.
Functions of the Central Pollution Control Board
- The main function of the Central Board is to prevent the well-being and cleanliness in all the water bodies of the nation.
- It suggests the Central government on matters related to prevention and control of water pollution.
- It collaborates with the activities of the State Board and resolves their disputes.
- It provides the State Board with complete technical assistance and conducts investigations and research on the problems of water pollution.
- The board may also build up laboratories to test samples of water bodies like streams or wells or samples of any sewage or trade effluents.
Functions of the State Pollution Control Board
- The function of the State Board is planning programmes to prevent and control pollution in streams and wells of the State.
- It can advise the State Government on the matters related to water pollution.
- It encourages the State Government to conduct investigations and research on the reasons behind the water pollution and provide them with the solutions.
- It co-ordinates with the Central Government to organise training programmes on the prevention and control measures to completely prevent water pollution.
- It evolves with the methods and procedures of utilising sewage and trade effluents in agriculture.
So, basically the act focuses on the prevention and control of the water pollution by forming the Central and State boards. And also, by giving them the provisions regarding the same. It is their duty to follow such provision and look upon the water bodies of the States and make sure that they are not contaminated. This act gives provision regarding the meeting of the Boards, to be held every six months to inspect the water bodies and list some new provisions and measures regarding the same.
It is also the duty of every individual to protect the environment, to make Earth a better place to live. So, no individual should try to pollute any water body. But, if any individual sees anybody polluting the water body by any means, then the concerned State Board should be reported.
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