The Central Pollution Control Board1 Act, 1981.)) and the State Pollution Control Boards2 Act, 1981.)) have been set up under the law to monitor air pollution in India. They have the following powers and functions:
- Advise the Central and State governments on all matters relating to the prevention, control and reduction of air pollution.
- Planning and executing the programmes for the control of air pollution.
- Prescribing the standards of air quality.
- Giving permission to industrial plants to operate in a State. No industrial plant can be set up or operated without prior permission of that State’s Pollution Control Board.3 Act, 1981.))
The state governments form Appellate Authorities to handle disputes relating to the environment and pollution. For example, in the state of Karnataka, a three member Karnataka State Appellate Authority headed by a retired judge, is the appellate authority.4 Anyone who wants to appeal against an order of a State Pollution Control Board can go before the appellate authorities,5 Act, 1981.)) not any other civil court.6 Act, 1981.))
A person who wants to appeal against the decisions and orders of the Appellate Authority can go before the National Green Tribunal,7 which has legal authority over all civil cases raising a substantial question relating to the environment, including enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment.
Pollution Control Committees
The Pollution Control Committees are regulatory bodies, set up by the Central Pollution Control Board. The Board can delegate its powers and functions to these Committees for certain areas. For example, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee was established in 1991 to perform the functions as that of a State Board for the Union Territory of Delhi.80
- Section 16, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Section 17, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Section 21, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Shibani Ghosh, Sharachchandra Lele and Nakul Heble, ‘Appellate Authorities under Pollution Control Laws in India: Powers, Problems and Potential’, 14/1 Law, Environment and Development Journal (2018), available at http://www.lead-journal.org/content/18045.pdf.
- Section 31, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Section 46, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Section 16(f), National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
- Delhi Pollution Control Committee, accessed at:https://www.dpcc.delhigovt.nic.in/about#gsc.tab=0.