What are Water Act, 1974 and Air Act, 1981?

The Water Act 1974 was passed by the Parliament under Article 252 (1) of the Constitution of India and also Air Act 1981, is a central legislation passed by the Parliament under Article 253 of the Constitution. The following are the objectives:

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  1. Provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and maintaining water.
  2. The airs Act are also to provide for the perception and control and abatement of air pollution.
  3. The Water Act applies to are states or union territory and concerned with the State Pollution Control Board.
  4. The provision of Air Act is made to control air pollution.

To check air and water pollution, the responsibility of the industries are as follows”:

  1. Permission from the Pollution Control Board: During the planning stages of the establishment of any industry consent from the respective Pollution Control Board is to be made. This is also necessary to bring into the use any new or altered outlets for discharge. Consent is also necessary under the Air Act to establish consent must be made before 120 days of the steps taken to set up an industry.
  2. The consent letter should contain complete information about raw material to be used, processed, quality and quantity of all discharges, environment management plan of the industry as well as the details of the surroundings, lend use, topography meteorology, air and water quality. The first application for consent should include the Detailed Project Report (DPR), Environmental Plan (EMP).
  3. Compliance of Consent Condition: Consent conditions generally define the maximum quality of effluent and emission to be discharge, standards for their quality and other instructions for the pollution control. It is the duty of the industry to comply all consent conditions during operation.
  4. Co-operation with the Pollution Control Board: An industry is required to extend all help and support to the Pollution Control Board providing all information’s, permit entry and inspection and the collection of affluent or emission samples.
  5. Carrying out directions of Pollution Control Board: The industry shall carry out all directions given by Pollution Control all direction given by the Pollution Control Board including its regulations.

Responsibilities of State Pollution Control Board:

  • Advise the government in matters of water and air pollution, prevention control.
  • Research, and development, information dissemination training dealing with matter related to air and water pollution.
  • Regulatory function: Such regulatory functions includes-
  • To obtain any information on water subtraction discharge etc.-
  • To analyze emission samples.
  • To withdrawn or modify consent conditions.
  • To prohibit discharge of effluent on emission not conforming to prescribed standard.
  • To carry out any remedial measures or work of mitigation of air pollution caused by episodically discharge.


Legal action:

If offence committed the director, manager, secretary of the company may be presented. They have to pay penalty for it in case of obstructing inspection, failure to inform of accidental discharge, failure to carry out orders like closure, prohibition and mitigating action in case of accidental serious pollutions.

Specific punishments are provided for vocational of various sections of the Water Act and the Air Act and such punishment includes-

  • Imprisonment up to three months or fine up to Rs. 10,000/- or both.
  • Imprisonment up to six years.
  • Fine up to Rs.5000/- per day till the offence continues.
  • Imprisonment of 2-7 years and fine of Rs. 5000/- per day till the offence continues.
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