Anyone can file a complaint at the nearest police station and can even register an FIR (First Information Report) for public nuisance1 against the establishment, industry or person responsible for air pollution.
Central and State Pollution Control Boards
The Central Pollution Control Board is a body constituted under the law to prevent and control water and air pollution in India. It also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and runs the air and water quality monitoring programme to help regulate and decrease the level of pollution.2 It has a complaint portal on its website to report air pollution in Delhi NCR.
An aggrieved person can approach the State Pollution Control Board office in their state or visit the website to file a complaint for air pollution. The State Pollution Control Boards have the power to:
- Approach a court for restraining any person who is likely to cause air pollution.3 Act, 1981.))
- Obtain information about emissions from industrial plants, enter and inspect premises, take samples of emissions and send for analysis.4
- Direct the closure of such polluting establishments or cut off or regulate its water or power supply.
Anyone can approach the Magistrate to file a civil suit for remedy against public nuisance with the help of a lawyer. The Magistrate also has the power to issue a notice under Sec. 133 CrPC5 (order for removal of nuisance) to stop the polluting activities.
National Green Tribunal
Complaints can be registered at the official website of the National Green Tribunal. (NGT). The complaint can be filed as an individual, advocate, a representative of a law firm or NGO or as a representative of the Government of India.
When the proceedings are initiated, the NGT can provide relief and compensation as well as order return and restoration of property damaged and the environment of the area.6 The NGT orders compensation for instances of death, disability, injury or sickness, loss of wages and medical expenses7 to the person responsible for causing the damage to the environment.8
The Tribunal also has the power to grant:
- Interim orders or a stay
- Orders requiring a person to cease and desist.
- Section 268, Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- Central Pollution Control Board, accessed at: https://cpcb.nic.in/Introduction/.
- Section 22A(1), Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution
- Section 24-26,Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- Section 133, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Section 15, The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
- Schedule II, The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
- Section 17, The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.