Saturday, November 1, 2014

SALIENT FEATURES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ACTS IN INDIA

SALIENT FEATURES OF AIR ACT
-The Air act provides for establishment of central and state boards for implementation of rules under the act
-The Air act aims at prevention, control and abatement of air pollution
-pollution beyond certain limits due to various pollutants discharged through industrial emission is monitored by pollution control boards set up in every state
-The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) implements legislation to improve quality of air, prevent and control air pollution in the country.
-The board advises the central government on matters concerning quality of air. It also coordinates activities, provides technical assistance and guidance to state boards in addition to setting the standards for quality of air.
-It collects and disseminates information in respect to air pollution and performs functions prescribed by the act.
-The state boards advise the state government on matters concerning prevention and control of air pollution
-The state boards possess the right to inspect at all reasonable times any control equipment, industrial plant or manufacturing process and give orders to take necessary steps to control pollution.
-The state board inspects air pollution control areas at regular intervals or whenever necessary.
-They are empowered to provide standards for emissions to be laid down for different industrial plants with regard to quantity and composition of emissions.
-A state board may recognize or establish a laboratory for this purpose.
-State government has powers to declare air pollution control areas after consulting with state boards. In the same manner, state government can give instructions to ensure standards of emission from automobiles and restrict operation of certain industrial units.
-Penalties are imposed by the state board and it might appeal to the court to restrain persons for causing air pollution.
-Any person who contravenes any provision of the act is punishable with imprisonment for a term extending to three months or a fine of Rs.10,000 or both. If the offence continues, an additional fine may extend to Rs. 5000 per day for everyday during which the contravention continues after conviction for the first contravention.

SALIENT FEATURES OF WATER ACT
Water act came into effect in 1974 to prevent pollution of water by industrial, agricultural and household water. The main objectives of this act are listed below:
-Prevention, control and abatement of water pollution.
-The act also aims at restoration of wholesomeness of water
-The water act is designed to assess pollution levels and punish polluters
-The central government and state governments have set-up pollution control boards to monitor water pollution.
-The water act of 1974 along with amendments in 1978 is an extensive legislation with more than sixty sections for prevention and control of water pollution.
-Central and state boards have been created under this act for preventing water pollution
-The act empowers the board to take:
               -  water samples for analysis
               - govern discharge of sewage
               - trade effluents
               - study or inspect appeals
               - revision of policies
               - set minimum and maximum penalties
               - publication of names of offenders
               - offences by companies or government departments
               - establish or recognize water testing laboratories and standard testing procedures
-Prevention and control of water pollution is achieved through a 'permit' or a 'consent administration' procedure
-Discharging effluents is permitted by obtaining the consent of state water boards
WATER POLLUTION CESS ACT (1977)
The objective of this act is that anyone consuming water has to pay cess depending on the type of use as listed below:
-Industries using water for industrial cooling, spraying in mine pits or as boiler feed
-Domestic purposes
-Processing (pollutants are biodegradable. Eg: water from slaughter houses)
-Processing (pollutants are not biodegradable and are toxic. Eg: water from tannery waste, industrial wastewater from electroplating industries)
Industries that have a treatment plant installed for treating their effluents can get a rebate of 70% on the cess payable.

SALIENT FEATURES OF WILDLIFE ACT
The wildlife act is aimed at preserving and protecting wildlife and came into effect in 1972.
-This act envisages national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as protected areas to conserve wildlife.
-Under this act, wildlife populations are regularly monitored and management strategies are formulated to protect them.
-The act covers the rights of forest dwellers. The act permits restricted grazing in sanctuaries but prohibits the same in national parks. The act also prohibits collection of non forest timber which might not ham the system.
-The rights of forest dwellers recognized by forest policy of 1988 were taken away by the amended wildlife act of 1991
-The act enables central government to enact the legislation.
-The act appoints a wildlife advisory board, wildlife warden and specifies their duties and powers.
-The act provides a comprehensive list of endangered species and prohibits hunting of the same.
-It protects endangered plants like Beddome Cycad, Blue Vandana, Ladies Sliper Orchid, Pitcher Plant, etc
-The act provides for setting up national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, etc.
-The act provides for constitution of central zoo authority
-There is provision for trade and commerce in some wild species with license for sale, purchase, transfer, etc
-The act imposes a ban on trade or commerce of commercial animals
-The act provides legal powers to officers to punish offenders.
-Under the act, captive breeding programs for endangered species have been initiated.
Eg: Conservation project for Lion (1972), Tiger (1974), Crocodile (1974) & Brown antlered deer (1981)

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